MediStraw Solves Nationwide Pill Swallowing Problem

For the 40% of American Adults that suffer with Pill Swallowing Difficulties, Medistraw turns the experience into a more natural one as it incorporates the processes found in the normal eating of food or drinking of liquid.
April 4, 2008 - PRLog -- All Choked Up – A brief history of pill swallowing - when a gag is not funny.

Pills are a common means of taking medication, and more recently, vitamins and health supplements. Thought to be a relatively modern invention, pills have been around since the 1840’s.  William Upjohn improved them in 1884 to become the common form we find today.

One thing has not changed since that time.  Many people still have trouble swallowing pills.  History records the first pill swallowing device being invented in 1890.  Other devices have been tried since then with little success.  The problem with these devices is the need to tilt the head back to wash pills down the throat.  This actually makes things worse by increasing the gag reflex.  

According to a first-ever nationwide survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 40% of American adults have experienced difficulty swallowing pills, although few of these have any trouble swallowing food or liquid when eating.  Although children were not included in the survey, our experience suggests that just as many children have the same problem.  Of those taking the survey, 14% delayed taking their medication, 8% skipped a dose, and 4% stopped taking their medication.  Less than 25% of these people ever discussed this problem with their doctor.  About 20%, suffered with some anxiety over the experience of swallowing pills.

The solution:  Find a way for people to swallow pills with the ease they would experience in the normal process of swallowing food or liquid when eating.  

Our research has revealed that the swallowing reflex is triggered automatically by pursing the lips and sucking, as when drinking with a straw or drinking from a soda bottle.  This action also “fools” the gag reflex which can be oversensitive in some people.  With this information, we have devised a way to introduce a pill into the middle of this process so that it can be swallowed easily, with little or no feeling at all.  

The MEDISTRAW®, by design and function, eliminates a majority of pill swallowing difficulties, and returns the act of swallowing pills to a more natural process as one would experience swallowing food or liquid when eating.  In a 5 step process not found in any other product, the MEDISTRAW® allows the head to remain level, holds the pill in preparation for swallowing, provides an accelerated fluid stream to carry the pill into the mouth, starts the sucking action that triggers the swallowing reflex, and “fools” the gag response.  Since the pill is surrounded by fluid, “after-taste” is reduced or eliminated.

Extensive testing has been done in the development of the MEDISTRAW® by health care professionals in clinical settings, and by ordinary people in course of everyday life.  It is an easy to use product for young and old alike and provides a much-needed and welcomed service for so many people.

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Horizon Design & MFG, LLC is a design and manufacturing firm dedicated to finding simple and innovative technological solutions to problems found in everyday living.  The first and foremost key to our success is imagination.

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