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jellysundae

Painkillers taking a dangerous step backwards?

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I've just seen a TV ad for kids painkillers and I cannot believe what I'm seeing. :bigeyed:

vU6o0I4.jpg

fruit-flavour . . .

melt-in-the-mouth . . .

24 in a box . . .

Are Calpol actively intending to have little kids OD on these?

I just don't understand, painkillers have tasted nasty to stop kids from mistaking them for candy for decades, so who on earth thought this was a good idea?!

I can't even . . .

 

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The only thing I can think is that they're targeting frustrated parents who have to fight to take their kids to take pills.  Which still, as you mentioned, is a VERY bad idea.  I hope that at least they have a very high LD50 compared to what can be found in a single box. . . 

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I'm afraid this isn't anything new by my experience. Truth be told it's a miracle that I didn't accidentally take too many when I was 9 or 10. 

I will never forget the taste of strawberry chew-able tylenol tablets growing up. I was obsessed with it, and it was not uncommon at all for me to fake a headache or nip a few from the blisterpack after bedtime JUST because they were tasty. =/

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2 hours ago, jellysundae said:

I've just seen a TV ad for kids painkillers and I cannot believe what I'm seeing. :bigeyed:

vU6o0I4.jpg

fruit-flavour . . .

melt-in-the-mouth . . .

24 in a box . . .

Are Calpol actively intending to have little kids OD on these?

I just don't understand, painkillers have tasted nasty to stop kids from mistaking them for candy for decades, so who on earth thought this was a good idea?!

I can't even . . .

 

Well heck, even in the pharmacies now they have all the different flavors to add to antibiotics and other meds for kids (well I suppose adults too) like watermelon, cherry, strawberry, grape, you name it.  Like Gilly said, I believe it is for frustrated parents.  And really, parents are supposed to keep meds out of children's reach.  Right?:guiltysmiley:

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And we wonder why we have so many people addicted to LEGAL drugs. :icecream::dance::sleeping_anim::rolleyes:

I understand the reasoning behind this. But it can also lead to overuse as some have mentioned.

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I know that Tylenol is labeled as Pain & Fever reducer. I found some at the grocery store that is a fizzy tablet you add to water to make it a strawberry soda as a pain killing beverage. I didn't give any to my kids, but I tried it when I was sick. I don't know what part of it was "strawberry flavored." It was just weird. The rest of the box sat in my medicine cabinet and expired. I used to love Tums as a kid. Those and Pepto Bismol were what I would sneak out of the cabinet. I remember my mother freaking out when she found an empty container of Tums in my room. She took me to the hospital. I was fine, but her reaction freaked me out enough that I didn't get back into the medicine cabinet.

Now I just don't give my kids anything without their doctor's okay.

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Yeah, nicer flavoured stuff for medicine in bottles has always been a thing in this country too. The Amoxil penicillin antibiotic I was given as a little kid tasted nice, I clearly remember that, lol. Yellow and apparently banana-y. I'm not so sure about tasting of banana, it just tasted nice!

But liquid medicines do tend to be kept in places where little kids can't get to them so easily, don't they. But tablets end up within kiddie reach all too easily.

So nice-tasting tablets have been a thing in the US for a long time?

As far as I'm aware they really haven't been in this country.

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I get the sentiment here, and don't want to imply that over-the-counter drugs can't be dangerous, but I don't think this particular example is that threatening. According to The Internet, in order to overdose on paracetamol (known as acetaminophen here in the US), you need to take somewhere in the range of 20+ grams. That entire package in Jelly's original post (24 pills at 250 milligrams each) is a total of 6 grams. Of course a child wouldn't be able to take as much as an adult, but to me it seems kind of unlikely that a major accident would happen with a single pack of these pills in the house. 

Personally, I would love this if I were a parent and it made it easier to get my kid to take their medicine. I think it should be up to the parents to keep potentially dangerous substances out of children's reach when they're very young, and then as they get older to explain the potential dangers of taking too much. Growing up, my parents kept all medications in an upper kitchen cabinet, which I wasn't able to reach until I was at least 7 or 8--old enough to know better than to take anything I wasn't supposed to. 

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It is reassuring to know a full box of these probably wouldn't harm a kid then.

I can't remember what my mum taught me about medicine. I DO remember that she gave me tablets by crushing them up and feeding them to me in a spoonful of jam (jelly). I took them quite happily in that format, the earliest recollection I have of this is when I was around 5.

OH! And a giant bottle of cough mixture that tasted of apricots and felt all warm and nice going down. I wonder what was in that! Brandy? :laugh:

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As a Mom of 3, the reason why they're making these fastmelts for children is so that they're easier for them to take. Have you tried giving a liquid medication to a squirming 2 year old? I certainly have and I usually end up wearing most of it and it's harder because you don't know for sure if the child got the full dose or not. These chewables are very handy and easy for younger children to take by themselves and the parent doesn't have to worry about them getting too much or too little by making up for the stuff that spilled or got spat out. I like how they're making some of the cough medications taste a bit better for kids. My daughter at 2 years old had tonsilitis and her doctor put her on terrible medication and she downright refused it. It didn't matter what I tried she would not take it. I had to return it to the pharmacy and get something different for her. Which of course led to her being sick longer because antibiotics take up to 48 hours before they begin to work.

The most important thing to remember is the parents here. If parents are responsible and keep the medication up out of reach and are strict about it then there is no issue. My 3 year old will see me take a tylenol sometimes and demand one as well. I have to be firm with her and tell her she doesn't need one and ask her if she would like a snack. My 6 year old has had to take iron supplements when she was 4. That stuff was nasty! I had to basically force it down her throat so she would take it. Not a fun experience for either of us! We had to do this for 8 weeks!

In instances of children overdosing on medication, who is really at fault here? The child or the parents? The parents are most definitely at fault! As parents it is our responsibility to keep any and all medication out of reach and locked away. If we can't do that then we shouldn't have the medication in the house. We are responsible for the safety and well being of our children. These pharmaceutical companies are just trying to make our lives a little easier.

Now if you want to talk about irritating practices of medication for children then lets go to how there is NOTHING available to help with a cold for a 2 year old. All the stuff that's on the shelf for sore throats and such only has one ingredient acetaminophen and it's the exact same stuff you can get in a fastmelt tablet in the same quantity. So why pay 2x as much for a liquid just because your child has a cold thinking it will help them. The pharmaceutical companies cannot have these types of products on the shelves because too many parents have overdosed their children from not paying attention to the ingredients and giving them extra tylenol on top of what's in the medication. So now because of these irresponsible people, my children have to suffer. How is that fair!

When my kids get sick they get nasty coughs and cough so hard they end up throwing up EVERY SINGLE TIME! My daughter when she was 5 we couldn't even find anything to help her stop coughing. We resorted to using a medication called Robitussin that had a cough suppressant in it for 6+ years. We gave her a little bit less then the dose for a 6 year old and it helped tremendously. My 3 year old was sick a lot last year and constantly coughing and throwing up. It got so bad in June that we took her to the doctor and the doctor even told us to get the Tylenol Cough and Cold with the cough suppressant in it and that's for 6+ years as well. I told him I've already been giving her that but half of what they say for a 6 year old. I forget what the actual dosage was and he said that was perfectly fine. So basically it all boils down to having some common sense.

Now I could go on all day about poor parenting habits, but I'll leave it at that.

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1 hour ago, Mouseykins said:

Now I could go on all day about poor parenting habits

Yeah, this is actually the problem in its entirety, isn't it. I realise that now. -_-

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I'm happy this is such a fruitful, open discussion. What a breath of fresh air in the often hostile online world we live in! Kudos, TDN community.

Like others have said, tasty medication marketed towards children isn't new. Back in the 60s my aunt downed an entire bottle of baby aspirin :sad01_anim: Luckily, my grandparents noticed quickly and she was fine, after having her stomach pumped. Unlike baby aspirin, though, this medication seems to be better, as it's not harmful in large quantities should any young ones get it. I do see the concern that it looks a bit like candy, which can be deceptive. My sister and cousin once ate a handful of tums because they looked like Necco wafers...

Plus, who knows, although it's marketed as a nice flavor, in my personal experience with medicine as a child, that was the biggest lie on the planet! I'm looking at you, Children's Sudafed :sick01: To this day I can't handle artificial grape flavoring!

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4 hours ago, kayahtik said:

I get the sentiment here, and don't want to imply that over-the-counter drugs can't be dangerous, but I don't think this particular example is that threatening. According to The Internet, in order to overdose on paracetamol (known as acetaminophen here in the US), you need to take somewhere in the range of 20+ grams. That entire package in Jelly's original post (24 pills at 250 milligrams each) is a total of 6 grams. Of course a child wouldn't be able to take as much as an adult, but to me it seems kind of unlikely that a major accident would happen with a single pack of these pills in the house. 

Personally, I would love this if I were a parent and it made it easier to get my kid to take their medicine. I think it should be up to the parents to keep potentially dangerous substances out of children's reach when they're very young, and then as they get older to explain the potential dangers of taking too much. Growing up, my parents kept all medications in an upper kitchen cabinet, which I wasn't able to reach until I was at least 7 or 8--old enough to know better than to take anything I wasn't supposed to. 

As Kayahtik said, overdose would be highly unlikely with this entire box of medication.  The recommendation to prevent liver damage is <4000mg per day for an adult. This entire box is 6000mg, which is 1-1/2x the recommended daily dosage for an adult.  However, to obtain damage to the liver, this would have to be combined with alcohol or the dosage sustained for a period of time.  

I don't see it being any different than the grape/cherry flavored chewable junior strength Tylenol/Acetaminophen that has been out for years.

5 hours ago, jellysundae said:

Yeah, nicer flavoured stuff for medicine in bottles has always been a thing in this country too. The Amoxil penicillin antibiotic I was given as a little kid tasted nice, I clearly remember that, lol. Yellow and apparently banana-y. I'm not so sure about tasting of banana, it just tasted nice!

But liquid medicines do tend to be kept in places where little kids can't get to them so easily, don't they. But tablets end up within kiddie reach all too easily.

So nice-tasting tablets have been a thing in the US for a long time?

As far as I'm aware they really haven't been in this country.

Yes, I remember the "good banana-y tasting" antibiotic too.  Lol.  Yes, grape and cherry flavored, chewable, junior strength acetaminophen for many years.  Even baby aspirin, back in the '70s, had an orange-y flavor.  Then they realized it caused reye's syndrome, so they stopped promoting it for childre

3 hours ago, Mouseykins said:

As a Mom of 3, the reason why they're making these fastmelts for children is so that they're easier for them to take. Have you tried giving a liquid medication to a squirming 2 year old? I certainly have and I usually end up wearing most of it and it's harder because you don't know for sure if the child got the full dose or not. These chewables are very handy and easy for younger children to take by themselves and the parent doesn't have to worry about them getting too much or too little by making up for the stuff that spilled or got spat out. I like how they're making some of the cough medications taste a bit better for kids. My daughter at 2 years old had tonsilitis and her doctor put her on terrible medication and she downright refused it. It didn't matter what I tried she would not take it. I had to return it to the pharmacy and get something different for her. Which of course led to her being sick longer because antibiotics take up to 48 hours before they begin to work.

The most important thing to remember is the parents here. If parents are responsible and keep the medication up out of reach and are strict about it then there is no issue. My 3 year old will see me take a tylenol sometimes and demand one as well. I have to be firm with her and tell her she doesn't need one and ask her if she would like a snack. My 6 year old has had to take iron supplements when she was 4. That stuff was nasty! I had to basically force it down her throat so she would take it. Not a fun experience for either of us! We had to do this for 8 weeks!

In instances of children overdosing on medication, who is really at fault here? The child or the parents? The parents are most definitely at fault! As parents it is our responsibility to keep any and all medication out of reach and locked away. If we can't do that then we shouldn't have the medication in the house. We are responsible for the safety and well being of our children. These pharmaceutical companies are just trying to make our lives a little easier.

Now if you want to talk about irritating practices of medication for children then lets go to how there is NOTHING available to help with a cold for a 2 year old. All the stuff that's on the shelf for sore throats and such only has one ingredient acetaminophen and it's the exact same stuff you can get in a fastmelt tablet in the same quantity. So why pay 2x as much for a liquid just because your child has a cold thinking it will help them. The pharmaceutical companies cannot have these types of products on the shelves because too many parents have overdosed their children from not paying attention to the ingredients and giving them extra tylenol on top of what's in the medication. So now because of these irresponsible people, my children have to suffer. How is that fair!

When my kids get sick they get nasty coughs and cough so hard they end up throwing up EVERY SINGLE TIME! My daughter when she was 5 we couldn't even find anything to help her stop coughing. We resorted to using a medication called Robitussin that had a cough suppressant in it for 6+ years. We gave her a little bit less then the dose for a 6 year old and it helped tremendously. My 3 year old was sick a lot last year and constantly coughing and throwing up. It got so bad in June that we took her to the doctor and the doctor even told us to get the Tylenol Cough and Cold with the cough suppressant in it and that's for 6+ years as well. I told him I've already been giving her that but half of what they say for a 6 year old. I forget what the actual dosage was and he said that was perfectly fine. So basically it all boils down to having some common sense.

Now I could go on all day about poor parenting habits, but I'll leave it at that.

Mouseykins said, "In instances of children overdosing on medication, who is really at fault here? The child or the parents? The parents are most definitely at fault! As parents it is our responsibility to keep any and all medication out of reach and locked away. If we can't do that then we shouldn't have the medication in the house. We are responsible for the safety and well being of our children. These pharmaceutical companies are just trying to make our lives a little easier."

This is exactly what I was saying! They can do everything to help, like childproof caps, locking medicine cabinets, drug safes, etc. but nothing takes the place of good parental supervision.

 

hpb63094 said, "I do see the concern that it looks a bit like candy, which can be deceptive".  Yes totally, how about putting the medicine in the pacifier and having the baby suck on it? lol.  Some of the stuff is crazy, but as long as parents do their job, it can be helpful.

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@rntracy1 further solidifies the fact that it's all down to the parents.

The same as anything in this crazy world of ours, it's, um . . . user error that causes the problems, isn't it. Guns don't kill people, people kill people, and all that . . .

So yeah, the parent who screams about suing the pharmaceutical company because their kid was hospitalised after downing an entire bottle of some nice tasting medication . . .  I wonder what kind of success they have in convincing themselves that it really is the manufacturer's fault, and not theirs for not securing this stuff away from their kids in the first place.

So let's turn this around a little. If companies are moving away from making pill killers taste nasty so kids don't eat them, how about making them ALL taste nice for us adults to benefit from, lol. These pills that melt in the mouth are surely going to be absorbed into the blood stream much faster than something that takes 20 minutes to dissolve in your stomach, and remove the need of having some liquid handy to take it with.Way more convenient. But also way more expensive, right? For no real reason :rolleyes: but that's a whole other topic, isn't it! lol.

 

 

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4 hours ago, jellysundae said:

These pills that melt in the mouth are surely going to be absorbed into the blood stream much faster than something that takes 20 minutes to dissolve in your stomach, and remove the need of having some liquid handy to take it with.Way more convenient.

I've taken a couple of the Tylenol Fastmelts when I was sick over the last year. I had a very sore throat and could not swallow without cringing from the pain. I always keep Tylenol and Advil on hand in case the girls get hurt, have a fever or are sick. I took 2 of the Tylenol fastmelts and started getting relief in about 5-10 minutes as opposed to waiting the 20+ minutes for a normal Tylenol to kick in. I wouldn't have been able to swallow the adult Tylenol anyways.

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i know there are people who crush xanax in their kids' meals to make them sleep

(i don't associate with such people btw)

this is just to make the kids accept the med ... also panadol suspension is flavored as well ...

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2 hours ago, Angeló said:

i know there are people who crush xanax in their kids' meals to make them sleep

Those people should be in jail. They sell Meletonin to help with that. Not that it should be used everyday, but at least meletonin is a naturally occurring chemical in your body that just tells your body that it is time for a nap vs getting someone high.

@jellysundae - Medication bottles are now marked with "Keep out of reach of children" so that you can no longer sue the companies, now you have the potential to be hit with child endangerment instead. I freaked out once because my son got into a tube of toothpaste. Most of the toothpaste was in his hair and on the chair, but he ate enough that I took him to the hospital even though poison control told me that he didn't consume enough to worry about. He was screaming in pain from diarrhea and he couldn't sit down for hours at a time. I thought that I was going to get a visit from CPS because I poisoned my son. Granted, I did not actually give him the toothpaste, and I was eight months pregnant at the time, so I might have been a bit emotional.

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1 hour ago, babayaga67 said:

I was eight months pregnant at the time, so I might have been a bit emotional

I'd say that you might have been, yep! Hopefully that incident didn't give him a phobia about cleaning his teeth?

Ah yes, I forgot about the due diligence stuff with the warnings on the labels.

That thing with the Xanax . . . that kind of behaviour makes me wish there was a  psychological assessment you had to pass before you could have kids. -_-

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I have zero experience in medicating children, but having been a difficult child myself, I'm not shocked by this. My mom complains to this day about how hard it was to give me medicine (either pills or liquid). I absolutely hated the liquids because of the taste, and when it came to pills, I was scared of swallowing them. I'd tell my mom "I don't know how", and she'd spank me because she thought I was being sassy (I swear I wasn't, I really didn't know how I could swallow something without chewing - I wasn't very bright). 

And I know some kids might love these flavoured meds, but to kids who are like I used to be, it doesn't make a huge difference. The flavours don't actually make them anywhere near enjoyable. I remember that sometimes when I'd refuse to take medicine, my mom would say "this one doesn't even taste that bad, it's cherry flavoured", and I'd be like, "LIES!!!"

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9 hours ago, deboratibi said:

I have zero experience in medicating children, but having been a difficult child myself, I'm not shocked by this. My mom complains to this day about how hard it was to give me medicine (either pills or liquid). I absolutely hated the liquids because of the taste, and when it came to pills, I was scared of swallowing them. I'd tell my mom "I don't know how", and she'd spank me because she thought I was being sassy (I swear I wasn't, I really didn't know how I could swallow something without chewing - I wasn't very bright). 

And I know some kids might love these flavoured meds, but to kids who are like I used to be, it doesn't make a huge difference. The flavours don't actually make them anywhere near enjoyable. I remember that sometimes when I'd refuse to take medicine, my mom would say "this one doesn't even taste that bad, it's cherry flavoured", and I'd be like, "LIES!!!"

Deb!! Don't put yourself down like that *hugs* so many kids are scared of swallowing tablets, I don't think I'm going out on too much of a limb if I say most are. Hardly surprising really, is it. That parent who is getting angry at us - while we're there in floods of tears - for not swallowing these pills, is the very same one who has told us over (and over and over) again to chew our food before swallowing or we'll choke . . . and now they're wanting us do the exact opposite - taking medicine in tablet form is seriously traumatic for children.

Ok, so you guys have made me realise that these melts are really the way forward for kids' meds, but I wonder if the flavouring is even necessary?

A few years ago I discovered (by accident) that not all tablets taste nasty. I'd assumed that they all did because pain killers do, but one day I was out somewhere and my nose started streaming from allergies, and while I had some antihistamines in my bag I didn't have a drink, so I had to really steel myself to chew them and imagine my surprise when I (joyfully) discovered they tasted of nothing!

I'd say that if a kids' melt has no nasty natural taste from the ingredients that needed camouflaging, then leave it flavourless. Kids aren't going to be very interested in eating the entire package of something that tastes of nothing, right? Taking medicine would just be a boring but painless experience which seem like a good thing to me. What do you guys think?

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12 hours ago, deboratibi said:

I have zero experience in medicating children, but having been a difficult child myself, I'm not shocked by this. My mom complains to this day about how hard it was to give me medicine (either pills or liquid). I absolutely hated the liquids because of the taste, and when it came to pills, I was scared of swallowing them. I'd tell my mom "I don't know how", and she'd spank me because she thought I was being sassy (I swear I wasn't, I really didn't know how I could swallow something without chewing - I wasn't very bright). 

And I know some kids might love these flavoured meds, but to kids who are like I used to be, it doesn't make a huge difference. The flavours don't actually make them anywhere near enjoyable. I remember that sometimes when I'd refuse to take medicine, my mom would say "this one doesn't even taste that bad, it's cherry flavoured", and I'd be like, "LIES!!!"

Swallowing pills can be difficult even as an adult.  Especially big pills, like many vitamins and stuff.  And it is a very difficult thing to swallow a pill, sometimes I'll still have my tongue go the wrong way and catch the pill, preventing me from swallowing (even little pills).  My mom has to take a calcium pill that's so large she has to be super careful when she takes it, can't take it after a meal or more than one at once, or she can't get/keep it down.  And artificial flavorings are gross.

It's really not good for a parent to punish a child for saying they don't know how to do something.  Even if you were being sassy, the proper response would have been to take you seriously.  It sets a very bad precedence for a parent to punish a child for telling them something they don't want to hear, and especially telling them that they are scared of something.  It just teaches the child not to tell you important things.  

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4 hours ago, jellysundae said:

Ok, so you guys have made me realise that these melts are really the way forward for kids' meds, but I wonder if the flavouring is even necessary?

I'd be borderline alright with this as long as it wasn't a horrible taste. Sometimes the flavoring is necessary though. Take for example my 6 year old. On a daily basis she takes 6 Omega-3 gelcaps. These are like the gelcaps adults would take with a couple of differences. These ones can be chewed and the liquid inside is strawberry flavored. She's been taking these since she was 5. We tried other Omega 3's and she'd take them because they were gummies, but they didn't smell that nice and to me didn't taste all that nice. She still took them anyways. She prefers her strawberry gummies and because I often forget to give them to her, she will remind me. Omega 3's normally have a very fishy taste/after taste, so I think the flavoring in these are beneficial. She takes 6 of these every morning to help with her brain health and they're for children who are anxious and may have ADHD. The ones she's taking have been proven to increase concentration levels and can visibly be seen through the child's writing.

With the fastmelts because they dissolve in the mouth I always get my girls to have a drink of juice to rinse their mouth out. Never milk, as milk can dilute the effects. So if they had a bland taste then it wouldn't be so bad.

2 hours ago, balloongal247 said:

Swallowing pills can be difficult even as an adult.  Especially big pills, like many vitamins and stuff.  And it is a very difficult thing to swallow a pill, sometimes I'll still have my tongue go the wrong way and catch the pill, preventing me from swallowing (even little pills).  My mom has to take a calcium pill that's so large she has to be super careful when she takes it, can't take it after a meal or more than one at once, or she can't get/keep it down.  And artificial flavorings are gross.

I have this problem with multi-vitamins. It will take me 2-3 times to actually swallow the silly thing and keep it down. Even some antibiotics I have a hard time with. If they would make the vitamins smaller and have us take 2 of them to equal one I think that would be better. Cutting them in half is a pain plus you expose the insides that often doesn't taste very good and is worse then swallowing the entire pill without cutting it.

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32 minutes ago, Mouseykins said:

Cutting them in half is a pain plus you expose the insides that often doesn't taste very good and is worse then swallowing the entire pill without cutting it.

YES!  I had a multivitamin that I just wanted for extra, and really only wanted half dosage, so I cut some in half, but then EVERY TIME it would try to go down cut side first and the sharp edges would catch it.  Made me realize just how aerodynamically (or aquadynamically?) designed pills are.

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