Can't Swallow Pills For Pain Relief? Try These Alternatives

Whether you are NPO (nothing per oral, or nothing by mouth), or you just have a super-sensitive gag reflex, you clearly cannot take pills for any reason. This can be very frustrating, especially when you desperately need pain relief, and/or your doctor has prescribed pain relief medication after surgery and you cannot swallow pills. In this instance, you can try these alternatives. Request them from your doctor, as it may be difficult to get them with your insurance and a valid medical reason for not taking medication in pill form.

Oral Spray for Pain Relief

Pharmacies already carry throat sprays for pain relief, although the bottles clearly say that you should not swallow. However, this particular kind of oral spray for pain relief can be swallowed. You only have to spritz it onto the back of your throat or under your tongue so that it will quickly absorb into your blood stream. The best part is that there is no gagging. 

Injectable Pain Relief

This is pain medication that is injected directly into the blood stream. It is ideal for patients that are NPO and are not even supposed to swallow a spray medication. Those with a sensitive gag reflex can benefit from an injectable pain reliever as well, so long as they use pre-filled syringes or they are taught to draw up the right dose of medication in a needle. Some injectable pain relievers require office visits and the ability to take injections directly into the spinal chord and nervous system. It depends on what your doctor feels would work best for you. 

TENS Units

So long as your pain does not come from healing wounds after surgery, you could try TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) units. Many of these devices are now available over-the-counter. They utilize electrical impulses to interrupt the flow of nerve signals to your brain, which alters the registration of pain. Most of the units sold are meant for back and neck pain, but there are some that have connectors that can be randomly attached to your skin for use on other areas of the body. TENS units work on both NPO and sensitive gag reflex patients.

Bee Stings

If you are the homeopathic medicine type, try bee stings. Yes, it sounds unbelievably painful, and there is the possibility that you could be allergic. However, bee stings have been proven effective against arthritis pain. The bee stinger toxin decreases inflammation in and around the sting area. Talk to your homeopathic doctor about this possibility for pain treatment.