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Esophageal Dysphagia from Ingestion of Foil Packaging of Tablet

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The Mason Clinic; Seattle, Washington

©1978 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(6):940. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-89-6-940
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Various foodstuffs and objects can obstruct the gastrointestinal tract or airway. Their presence, and the diagnostic and therapeutic measures to remove them, can cause morbidity and even death (1). We report a case of dysphagia after ingestion of incompletely unwrapped medication.

An 85-year-old woman, who was taking medication for rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes mellitus, noted severe throat pain after swallowing a "handful of pills." Subsequently she had persistent painful dysphagia with solid foods and anterior chest discomfort. Within 3 weeks she had lost 4.5 kg [10 lbs].

Physical examination of this alert, ambulatory woman was unrevealing except for joint changes


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