Fear Of Medications: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

The fear of drugs , also known as pharmacophobia, is a fear of using drug treatments. In severe, excessive and irrational cases, it can be a specific type of phobia. While the lack of knowledge by the patient or physician of adverse drug reactions can have serious consequences, drug phobia can also have serious detrimental effects on the patient’s health, for example, refusal of interventions necessary pharmacological.

Causes of fear of medications

There are several reasons why some people have trouble swallowing pills:

  • Fear of taking medication
  • Fear of suffocation
  • Underlying health problem
  • There is no major underlying reason, just that I’ve always struggled

I have already spoken about the fear of medication. Again, if this has become such a problem that you cannot swallow any pills, you will probably have to work on it directly with a therapist (the same way someone would work on a fear of driving or public speaking). Fear of suffocation would involve similar work.

If you are having difficulty swallowing pills, you should make sure you have a complete physical exam and tell your doctor about the difficulty. Make sure there is no physical cause.

You may also be interested in reading: Fear Of Dwarves: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments


Drug phobia can also lead to medication compliance problems. Medication phobia can also occur in parents concerned about administering medication to their children, fearing that the medications will do more harm than good. Drug phobia can be triggered by unpleasant adverse reactions to medications that are sometimes prescribed inappropriately or in excessive doses.

Lack of knowledge of the patient’s predisposition to adverse effects (eg, anxious and elderly patients) and lack of attribution of adverse effects to the drug serves to aggravate the phobia. Starting at low doses and slowly increasing the dose of the drug can prevent drug phobia secondary to developmental adverse effects.

Medication fears are also prevalent in people who have experienced unpleasant withdrawal effects from psychotropic medications. Sometimes patients mistakenly associate the symptoms of an acute illness with the medications used to treat the illness or disease. This form of pharmacophobia can be treated by trying to convince the patient to take test doses of the drug or another drug in the same class to prove to the patient that the symptoms were not due to the drug, but rather to the disease that the drug was taken. To treat.


If you are afraid of taking medicine, then you should talk openly with your doctor about your fear. Discuss all the possible reasons why you might be afraid. If you haven’t thought about it, then take a half hour or so to write down how you feel. Much of your fear probably has to do with a lack of knowledge about medications. So, as with other concerns mentioned in this article, you need to start researching the medication and understand why it is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders .

You should also start Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy right away, and discuss your concerns about medications with the therapist. Tell the therapist that this is an important fear for you and that you think it is a priority to work on it. Of course, you will want to find a non-drug therapist. Often times, your psychiatrist (doctor) will have some recommendations for you.

Fear of medications is not unusual, particularly among people with anxiety disorders. Your doctor, if he is a specialist in anxiety disorders, should not be surprised by your fear and should be patient and willing to work with you. If not, it might be time to find a doctor who is patient. What have you got to lose?


Finally, there are people (with and without anxiety disorders) who simply have a hard time swallowing pills . Discuss your problem with your doctor, emphasizing that this has always been a problem for you. It is not unusual! Ask about options for taking your medicine. There could be a liquid form of the medicine. Or you could crush a pill and put it in another liquid or food (be sure to ask your doctor about this first!). These options may also help the person who is afraid of choking when taking medicine. Don’t feel bad about having to use one of these options.

Georgia Tarrant
 | Website

Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.