Pill swallowing difficulty is a serious issue. Here's your answer.
Between 15 and 33 percent of long-term care residents have swallowing difficulties.1
Swallowing problems are associated with increased age, cancer treatment, and conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, or stroke.1 Crushing and mixing pills with juice, applesauce, or thickeners to ease swallowing remains common but can alter drug release2 and expose providers to occupational hazard and legal libility.1,3
Phazix® (PSG)—the first purpose-designed medication lubricant—provides a safe, simple, well-accepted alternative.
- Easy and effective—just add a teaspoon of gel over a pill or tablet to ease swallowing
- Pleasant vanilla flavor masks medication taste, smell
- All-natural ingredients with half the sugar of Mott's applesauce (0.55g/1 tsp vs 1.06g/1 tsp)4
- No known effect on medication absorption rate5
- Breaks down quickly in the stomach
- Well-accepted by care providers6
- 60-day open shelf-life on a med cart, refrigeration not required4
- Simplifies infection control protocols requiring refrigeration of foods (e.g., apple sauce)
- Available in 2 IDDSI levels—Phazix® (Level 3 Moderately Thick and Level 4 Extremely Thick)
Note: Phazix® Pill Swallowing Gel is registered with the FDA as a Class I Medical Device.
Supporting evidence pill crushing should be avoided
Inadvertent crushing of controlled-release medications destroys their release characteristics, subjecting patients to risk of toxicity.7 Even when pill crushing is not contraindicated by the manufacturer, crushing may introduce a high risk of variable dosing or side effects.8 Mixing crushed medications with juice, applesauce-like foods, or thickeners is known to alter the drug effect of medications.2,9 The law requires that medicines be given in the correct form and dose.3 Pill crushing may expose care providers to occupational hazards associated with pulverized medications and legal liability related to off-label use.1,3
A PSG can reduce pill crushing
In a 2019 survey taken at the 160-bed Landsdowne Aged Care facility, Cabramatta NSW, Australia, use of a PSG reduced overall pill crushing in the facility by 38%.4 Adoption of a PSG was part of an improvement project to reduce incidence of medication crushing in the facility.
A PSG is well-accepted by care providers
A 2019 survey6 (n=355) of healthcare workers across Australia queried their experiences with a PSG.* A majority (n=170) had used the product. This group was queried on responses to the statement: "A pill swallowing gel is an effective method to facilitate pill-swallowing in residents.” Nearly 90% strongly agreed, agreed, or tended to agree with the statement. Easier medication administration (48%), reduction in need to crush (34%), and better medication compliance (33%) were reported as main benefits.
*Australian trade name for the product was Gloup®
- Morris H. Administering drugs to patients with swallowing difficulties. Nurs Times. 2005;101(39):28-30.
- Manrique Y, Lee D, Islam F, et al. Crushed tablets: does the administration of food vehicles and thickened fluids to aid medication swallowing alter drug release? J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2014;17(2):207-219.
- Griffith R, Griffiths H, Jordan S. Administration of medicines part 1: the law and nursing. Nurs Stand. 2003;18(2):47-56.
- ARKRAY data on file.
- Crino L, Manrique-Torres Y, Cichero J, Steadman K. Characterization of Gloup: is it suitable for medication delivery in dysphagic patients. Paper presented at: APSA-ASCEPT Joint Scientific Meeting. 2015.
- Halouh M, Forough A, Chicero J, Lau E, Nissen L, Steadman K. Experiences with using Gloup medication lubricant: What do Australian aged care facility healthcare workers think? APSA Annual Conference; Dec 1-4, 2019; Melbourne, AU.
- Schier JG, Howland MA, Hoffman RS, Nelson LS. Fatality from administration of labetalol and crushed extended-release nifedipine. Ann Pharmacother. 2003;37(10):1420-1423.
- Burridge N, Deidun D. Australian don't rush to crush handbook: therapeutic options for people unable to swallow solid oral medicines. Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia; 2011.
- Cichero JA. Thickening agents used for dysphagia management: effect on bioavailability of water, medication and feelings of satiety. Nutr J. 2013;12(1):54.
Instructions for use
Intended use: For people with swallowing difficulties, a gel that helps to swallow tablets, capsules and powders.
Tips for Use
- It may or may not be necessary to crush tablets or open capsules when using this product to help swallow.
- May assist with the swallowing reflex if chilled.
- If using for the first time, try it first without tablets.
- Drink liquids as prescribed before or after swallowing tablets and capsules.
- No gluten, dyes, allergens or gelatin.
- Store between 35-77°F (2-25°C).
- Do not use if cap seal is broken or missing.
- Use within 2 months of opening the bottle.
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Use medication as directed.
- For all patients who can swallow independently and is not suitable for children younger than 2 years old.
- Do not use in the case of known hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients.
- Phazix is a swallowing gel designed to help those with difficulty swallowing tablets, capsules, and powders.
- If the text refers to `tablets and capsules' it is referring to all medications or supplements in solid form, such as pills, tablets, lozenges and capsules, as well as pre-packaged powders.
- Phazix is not intended to be used with water soluble tablets, dispersible tablets, liquid medication, liquid supplements.
- If you have questions about this information or this product, please contact ARKRAY.
- Use medication as directed.
- Place tablet, capsule or powder to be taken on a teaspoon.
- Apply a full pump from the 500mL bottle onto the tablet, capsule or powder.
- Approximately 1 teaspoon, one half tablespoon, or 5mL
- Place in your mouth and swallow at once.
- The gel is thick and smooth to allow for easy swallowing of medications or supplements and a smooth passing through the esophagus to the stomach.
- Phazix moistens the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat and may stimulate saliva due to citric acid, allowing the tablet, capsules or powders to pass smoothly through the esophagus.
- Phazix breaks down quickly in the stomach and does not affect the absorption rate of medication. Now your medication is available to be delivered the way the manufacturer intended.
- The fresh flavor and aroma of Phazix may mask the unpleasant taste and smell of tablets, capsules and powders.
- Phazix can be used by anyone who has difficulty swallowing tablets, capsules and powders but can swallow independently.
- Phazix is suitable for anyone over the age of 2.
- Phazix does not contain gluten, common allergens or gelatin. For a list of common allergens reviewed, contact ARKRAY for information.
- Phazix Level 3 is sugar-free.
- Approximately 1 teaspoon of Phazix is the recommended dosage. With this volume of Phazix, tablets, capsules and powders may go down smoothly.
- A larger quantity of Phazix can be used with larger quantities of tablets, capsules and powders.
- Phazix can also be used in several doses.
- Chilling Phazix will thicken it and may make swallowing easier.
- A maximum of three doses per day is recommended for children between two and six years of age.
- It is recommended that Phazix is used by adults as often as pills are taken. Phazix is made with food-safe ingredients and presents a low health risk if consumed in large quantities in error.
- Phazix has not been developed specifically for patients with an impaired swallowing reflex.
- Phazix is not a solution for patients who choke when eating solid food.
- Phazix should not be used for swallowing medicines in liquid or effervescent form.
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Stored between 35°F and 77°F (2°C and 25°C).
- Use Phazix by the Use-by date printed on the packaging.
- Once opened (bottle seal broken), Phazix should be used within 60 days.
- Phazix can be disposed of with ordinary household waste.
1. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). (2017). Medication Errors of the CMS Manual System, Pub. 100-07 State Operations Manual.
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Phazix Pill Swallowing Gel Level 3
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Phazix Products are available through most national and regional distributors. To find a distributor call 800.818.8877