Everything Else

Petite? I beg to differ.

Boring fact about me: I wasn’t able to swallow pills for the LONGEST time. I tried…oh so many times. My throat would close up each and every instance I would attempt something as small as a mini M&M.

Somehow, over time, I managed to learn to swallow small pills. I also miraculously discovered my ability to swallow Aleve caplets. Anything larger than a 220mg caplet will certainly thwart me. Unfortunately, my inability to swallow pills makes it hard to take vitamins…unless they are in gummy form. I’m such a child.

So, imagine my delight when I saw that Citracal had come out with petites…calcium tablets that are supposed to be easy to swallow! Hooray! I quickly swiped them off the shelf and placed them in the shopping cart.

When I got home and opened up the bottle, I was immediately filled with disappointment.

On the left: an Aleve caplet. On the right: a Citracal petite. HA! There is nothing petite about it, in my opinion. It is twice as thick, it is slightly longer, and it is wider than an Aleve caplet. Crud.

Don’t get me started on the rectangular shape either. Who designed that? I tried swallowing one of the darn things about 10 times (using 3 different Citracal tablets in the process because they started to disintegrate. YUCK!) with no luck whatsoever. When Justin returned home, I forced another one into his hand and asked him to try. He doesn’t have any problems with swallowing pills, so I was curious if he would have any issues. Guess what? He was able to swallow the Citracal, but immediately started making a horrible face.

“Ack! Ugh…I could feel it lodged in my throat the entire way down. That was horrible!”

Well, that just stinks. What the heck am I supposed to do now with a 98% full bottle of Citracal petites that neither of us are able to consume?

I want my money back, Citracal.

Do you have a hard time swallowing pills? Please tell me I’m not alone…


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  • Yikes, a rectangular pill? That just makes no sense. In all fairness, for a calcium pill, that is rather petite. It’s just not petite in general. Still, yeah…rectangles aren’t meant to fit down the human throat.

    • Very true. It is on the smaller side for a vitamin…but their product info on their site was really misleading too! The info says a serving is 2 pills. The “nutrition facts” state under it that the serving is around 500mg…so I assumed that that meant 500mg was split between 2 pills…aka 1 serving. Apparently…that wasn’t the case! Punks.

    • You’re right – they do! I just was hoping that I could actually take something in pill form instead of adding more gummy vitamins to my routine! I already do the 1-A-Day multivitamin gummies (which you take 2 of…funny enough). I will probably break down and buy the gummies instead. Sigh.

  • Yep I can’t do pills either. I take gummy multivitamins!

    If I have to take a pill, I put the pill in a spoonful of applesauce.

    Another suggestion: take a small sip of water, with the water still in your mouth, pop the pill, take another big sip of water and immediately swallow everything (actually works!!!!)

    • Funny – that’s exactly what I do (the water thing). I’m pretty sure that I’m not meant to swallow pills any larger than an Aleve. I still have my tonsils…and they are HUGE. So…my theory is that they are what gets in the way. Not fun!

  • The boy always makes fun of me because in order to take pills, I fill my entire mouth with water and hold it there while I drop the pill in (I think of it like floating in a pool), and then swallow the WHOLE thing at once. It looks absolutely ridiculous, but it gets the job done!

  • I can swallow pills now, but couldn’t as a kid. I used to break capsules open into applesauce so I could take medicine, and now I can’t stand applesauce!

  • I think you should call the 1-800 number on the box and complain that you weren’t able to swallow these. Ask for your money back or a coupon you can use to buy the gummy variety.

  • I still struggle to swallow pills the size of Sudafed or Aleve! That is NOT a petite pill there. When I had knee surgery the doctor prescribed me these ridiculous horse pills that I had to have the pharmacist cut into thirds for me, but they were still so big around that I could barely manage it. Sometimes I have to request the liquid version of prescriptions because I just can’t handle it. I completely understand the vitamins too; I’ve pretty much given up on them because I can’t handle the adult size and the kids don’t really have the right amounts for adults.

    • I’m glad I’m not alone! 🙂 All of my vitamins are in gummy form! The 1-a-day multivitamin…and now I went out and bought the Caltrate calciums that are chocolate chews. I guess it works!

  • Haha, no, they are certainly not petite! Can you imagine what the regular size ones look like? I’m a good pill swallower, but maybe if you break these up into quarters, you’d be able to swallow them, too? Could be worth a try. Good luck!

  • I couldn’t swallow pills for the longest time either. I used to tip my head back, drop it down my throat and then immediately gulp down water.

    I’m not sure when I learned how to do it properly, probably when I had to take some medication everyday. But thank God I did because my prenatal vitamins are huge! When I first opened them I couldn’t believe they actually expected anybody to be able to swallow them. I kept checking the directions to make sure I wasn’t supposed to chew them or something.

  • You are SO not alone! I, too, suffer from the same affliction. My fiance’ dies laughing at my antics and I stress myself out so much beforehand, too. Pre-pill panic? LOL! The good thing about calcium is that they have the chocolate flavored chews! I’d try that! 🙂

  • All my life , I had trouble swallowing pills. The only thing thing that works for me is to exhale completely, put the pill in my mouth and immediately take a big gulp of water. works like a charm!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever known an adult that can’t swallow pills. It’s fascinating because I can swallow a bunch of pills at once and I’ve never even thought that some people can’t.

    • I totally get that. My mom couldn’t understand why I couldn’t swallow pills back in the day. I DO have very large tonsils though, and I think those are what gets in the way. I probably should have had them removed as a child, but it never happened! They do kind of obstruct the pathway…

    • Thanks! I actually have tried the Viactiv ones in the past; this time I bought the Caltrate chocolate chews (had a great coupon, haha). They are actually pretty good too!

  • I found this blog when looking for an image of the “petite” Citracal. I am very small boned and have always choked on large horse pills, I finally started making pudding a few times a week, I pop a spoonful in my mouth, whatever vitamin I am taking another spoonful and swallow, works every time and goes down with no choking or getting stuck in my throat. I discovered this ingenious idea after asking a pharmacist about a thickening agent they were selling for some ridiculously high price, when she said “it’s like a pudding”, aha! Hope this helps even though I notice now the post is getting a little long in the tooth!

  • I know this article is several years old now but I just came across it yesterday. It was very helpful in me deciding which not to get as I have the same problem. I did find at walmart (Caltrate Minis: calcium & vitamin D3) it shows on the side of the box a comparison size photo of this pill vs the one you mentioned. It is a tiny bit longer but considerably smaller in height. You should check them out.

  • Unbelievable, but in trying to swallow those large pills, try putting your chin down, take some water and the pill…swallow with your chin still down and swallow! It works!

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