• Life - Health & Wellness
  • Updated: June 05, 2023

Pharmacist Reveals Dangers Of Taking Medications Without Water

Dr Samuel Adekola, a community pharmacist has dislosed that it is very dangerous to take medications, particularly capsules without water. 

According to him, doing so can make them get stuck in the oesophagus (throat), causing tissue damage or inflammation.

He explained that the essence of using water to take medications is to aid easy movement to the stomach, stressing that when drugs are lodged in the oesophagus, they may cause significant damage.

Adekola, a former National President, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, said it is always advisable to take medicine with water and based on instructions from a pharmacist or medical practitioner.

The pharmacist made this known during an interview with Punch.

He said taking drugs without water delays absorption and makes them less effective.

According to an online news portal, Johns Hopkins Medicine, some people have difficulty swallowing capsules or tablets with water.

“Tablets or capsules that stay in the oesophagus may release chemicals that can irritate the lining of the oesophagus.

“This may cause ulcers, bleeding, perforation, and narrowing (strictures) of the oesophagus. The risk of these types of injuries is greater in persons with medical conditions

“Certain medicines can also cause ulcers in the oesophagus when they become lodged there.

"These include aspirin, certain antibiotics, quinidine, potassium chloride, vitamin C, and iron.

“Apart from water aiding transportation of drugs to the stomach, failure to use water to swallow drugs affects their dissolution in the stomach and this can create another problem.

“The essence of using water to swallow drugs is to ease transportation to the stomach where they will dissolve and then go to the small intestine where absorption takes place.

“The pH of the stomach is acidic, so there are certain types of drugs like Spectrin that require plenty of water when taking them.

"If you are going to swallow drugs, particularly capsules without water, you run the risk of the drug sticking to the throat. This can cause choking.”

Besides the practice causing ulcers in the oesophagus, Adekola noted that it can affect the efficacy of the drugs, making the patient not get full concentration.

He further said the dissolution of the drugs would be hampered if not taken with water.

“If the drug is not dissolved, it cannot be absorbed.

"Drugs depend on water for dissolution. It is going to hamper the dissolution.

"It is only those that the saliva can push to the stomach that will be available for absorption.

"This can affect the efficacy of drugs and the patient may not get the full concentration.

“Every drug has a percentage that should get into the system for it to be effective.

"If drugs are stocked in the mouth after chewing, some percentage of the drugs will not get to the stomach where they are supposed to be absorbed”, he said.

The physician advised patients to be rational about drug use and to always take drugs based on prescriptions and instructions from healthcare professionals.

Related Topics

Join our Telegram platform to get news update Join Now
Felicia Abisola  Olamiji
Felicia Abisola Olamiji

  A graduate of English Language from Olabisi Onabanjo University, passionate about learning new...

More From this Author


may & baker nigeria plc Health Care

May & Baker Nigeria Plc was founded on September 4, 1944 as Nigeria’s ...

glaxo smithkline consumer nig. plc Health Care

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc was incorporated in Nigeria on 23rd June 19...

fidson healthcare plc Health Care

Fidson Healthcare Plc started operations on March 1, 1995 as a local distributor...

evans medical plc Health Care

Evans Medical Plc is incorporated in Nigeria as a pharmaceutical manufacturing a...

nigeria-german chemicals plc Health Care

Nigerian-German Chemicals Plc manufactures formerly known as Hoechst Products Ni...


0 Comment(s)


See this post in...