How to Dissolve Gel Caps

Gelatin capsules, also called gel caps, are designed to be swallowed; their special coating allows them to avoid being broken down by stomach acids so that the medication can be absorbed into your bloodstream through your small intestine. However, if you have difficulty swallowing pills, there are several ways for you to access the medication inside the gel caps. Squeezing the liquid out of a gel cap is an option, but the liquid will likely taste unpleasant. Dissolving a gel cap prior to ingestion is often the best way to make the medication both palatable and easy to swallow.

Pour about eight ounces of an acidic juice, such as orange or grapefruit, into a glass.

Drop the prescribed number of gel caps into the glass. Stir once or twice to keep the cap from sticking to the bottom of the glass.

Allow the gel cap to sit in the juice until fully dissolved. This will take anywhere from five to 30 minutes, depending on the specific medication and manufacturer.

Stir to ensure no part of the cap is left undissolved and that the medication has not settled to the bottom of the glass.

Drink the entire glass of juice. Then fill the glass halfway with water; drink the water to ensure you're getting all of the medication prescribed.


Water can also be used to dissolve the gel caps, but will take significantly longer.


Always consult with your physician before taking a medication other than as directed on the bottle or by your doctor, as some medications are timed-release.