Centrum Silver for Women: A Crushed Vitamin Is a Terrible (Tasting) Thing!

Vitamins are supposed to be good for you, healthy even. My internist recommended Centrum Silver for Women vitamins to help keep me in top form. It isn’t enough that I (now) watch what I eat and exercise regularly. Nope. I need to take a multivitamin too.

The Centrum Silver for Women vitamin that I can't swallow.

A few weeks ago I told you about my experience with Centrum Silver for Women. The vitamins are huge at 1″ long and roughly the circumference of two Japanese beetles stacked on top of each other. And I mentioned then that the women’s ‘silver’ vitamins are significantly larger than the men’s!  Yikes!! Anyway, some women can swallow these monsters; bravo and kudos to you. I can’t. And neither can the other women I’ve heard from since I wrote my initial blog post. It’s too bad the non-swallowers aren’t more vocal in their complaints to Pfizer, Centrum’s parent company, because then the company would have already downsized their vitamins to “reasonable to swallow” size. Of course, then I wouldn’t have much to write about, would I?!I But I have to say that Centrum is sneaky; go on the company web site and find an email to which you can send your opinion. Go ahead.. I’ll wait while you do that.

<tap, tap, tap>.

You’re back? Did you find an email? No? Just a phone number, to which I can’t send a link to my blog posts, and a snail mail address? Yup. Well today I called that customer service number (1-877-236-8786) and spoke to a nice woman I’ll call J. I told her about my difficulties in swallowing the Centrum; she suggested I either cut the vitamin in half and swallow it in two parts or crush it/mix it in food. Now you and I know that I’ve tried swallowing the two halves to no avail.

The crushed vitamin adds up to quite the pile of stuff.

What you don’t know is that today I did try to crush it/mix it in food. Results? BLECH!!!

Go ahead. Mix this vitamin with some water or applesauce or something. Can you tolerate the taste? <Urp> I can't.

J said that Pfizer cares about its customers and takes our comments seriously. She said that I am not the only woman who has called to say those vitamins are too large to swallow. J said our opinions are passed along to the design team for review. So give the number above a call if you’d like Centrum to  make a more manageable-to-swallow vitamin for women 50-plus. Thank you!

P.S. J said she’d send me a coupon so I could try another variety of Centrum vitamin. Hmmm. I wonder what other vitamin in the line would be appropriate for a 50-something woman.

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30 Responses to Centrum Silver for Women: A Crushed Vitamin Is a Terrible (Tasting) Thing!

  1. Evangelina says:

    Please Centrum vitamin inventors – do invent a chewable tablet – Thank you.

  2. Carole says:

    I’m laughing! I just came back from the store after exchanging the bottle of Centurm for adults 50+ Woman. I have taken these for years…the only difference in the packaging was it said Women. The pills were like horse pills compared to my others! Maybe they think woman have much larger throats then men! I too have been looking online at their web site for an email address to no avail. I will give them a call.

  3. Linda Eaton says:

    Sure wish I’d read your review BEFORE I purchased these for my 89-year-old mother. She only weighs 87 lbs., so you can imagine what it’s like for her to try to swallow a pill that looks like it was made for a horse! I can’t think what the makers of these pills were thinking. Clearly, nobody’s mother tried to swallow them before they went on the market.

    The size of the pill should be shown on the bottle so you’d know not to buy it. I’m just hoping I can find something for her in a size she can swallow. Caltrate makes a petite size. Somebody at that company is thinking about the consumer, thankfully!

    • Oh, Linda. I’m sorry you wasted your money. The size of those pills is ridiculous. And I agree that manufacturers should show “actual size” pills on the labels; some do, but most don’t.
      FYI, I resorted to “gummy” vitamins; I chew two each morning and feel like a kid again.

    • Sue Pinkston says:

      One a Day for Women makes a petite size vitamin. They are hard to find, I once found them at Walgreen’s no more, but then I stumbled onto a bottle at Walmart. Give them a try. They a slender, kind of a flat oval shape, and far more easily swallowed than the horse-size pills of many other manufacturer’s. As they have added ingredients over the years, the size seems to increase as well, and since my throat is not quite as agile at 65 as it was at 30, I need that small size.

      • Sue,
        Thanks so very much for letting us know about an easier-to-swallow multivitamin for women. I know what you mean about the horse-pill size.

        BTW, I recently found a “half size” fish oil capsule (CVS brand) that is MUCH easier to swallow.


  4. Carole says:

    I’m laughing too. I just returned from the store where I returned the vitamins. The women 50+ are even larger!! I also tried to find an email address to no avail. I just gave up and bought the One a Day petite….nice small pills and I am sure they will do the same thing.

  5. Joan says:

    I once had a total obstruction when I chocked on a piece of steak and had to have the Heimlick Maneuver perfomed on me to release the obstruction. I’ve been paranoid about swallowing anything large and I chew my food for ages before I swallow. Imagine my horror when I opened my bottle of Centrum Silver for Women 50+ and saw the size of those pills! I tried cutting them in half but the sharp edges hurt going down and I panicked and could barely speak. I purchased a large bottle of Centrum containing 200 tablets! It was expensive and I dont’ want to just throw them out. My solution was to go out and buy a pill cutter/crusher. It has a cutter on one end and a crusher on the other. Now I cut them in half and then crush them. Mixed with a spoonful of applesauce and they go right down!! Thank goodness! I agree with the previous poster that companies should put an actual size photo of the pill on the bottle!

  6. Sally Potter says:

    My sister crushes her Centrum and puts them in peanut butter. She says the taste is gone and she gets the extra benefits of the MUFAs in the peanuts to help with digestion of the fast soluble vitamins.
    I on the other hand have never had a problem swallowing the pill, myself. My husband says he likes that.

  7. Susan says:

    I am glad to see others have the same problem as me … I also have a fear of choking again … Unless you have experienced it yourself you have no concept of how it feels …

    I have been faithfully taking Centrum vitamins since young adulthood and I am now 63 … It has been almost two years since I have first started having problems getting pills I can swallow … I have tried the break in half … approach stopped this after twice chocking … then I tried the gummys, wonderful … I cant chew them because I wear dentures … then I found petite … swallowing was much easier … but try as I might I haven’t been able to locate them again … recently I tried the chewable but much to my dismay the aftertaste from them is horrid … I am going to try crushing them in hopes that I will be able to tolerate them … thank you

    • Oh boy, Susan, you’ve had a rough time of it. And all while trying to be as healthy as possible and take your vitamin. I did switch to gummies and they work for me (no dentures yet). I’ve never seen the petite vitamins. All the best as you search for the perfect solution for yourself.

  8. Olga says:

    I have a bottle of Centrum Silver Woman since about a year ago and after I tried to take them, I just left them in the closet! They are so big, I am not sure if to buy them again and find out that they haven’t made them smaller size! The taste is horrible and the size is huge to swallow.

    • Olga,
      I agree with you about the huge size! And when I tried to crush the vitamin to take it, you are correct…it tasted horrible. I wish vitamin companies would consider that not all people can swallow huge vitamins.

  9. Ms G says:

    I dump the lot in a blender when I make my morning smoothie – can’t taste a thing and they’re crushed as fine as dust.

  10. Carol Streit says:


  11. Peg Wright says:

    Which Centrum tablet is the smallest in size? I have difficulty swallowing Centrum Silver but would like to take Centrum without fear of choking.
    Waiting for your reply.

    • Hi Peg,
      As a consumer (and blogger) I gave up after the Centrum Siver almost choked me to death. I don’t know which Centrum is “swallowable.” That said,if you find out, please let me know.

  12. Kim says:

    I am looking at this pill as I’m reading all the comments and I’m scared of it! Lol! Wish me luck.

  13. Ann says:

    I bought a capsule machine and some #1 capsules. I measured the crushed vitamins, and 1 vitamin fills 4 capsules. So, now, I just take 1 capsule with each meal, and 1 before bed. I crush a month’s supply at a time, in my mini blender, and fill the capsules. It takes about 20 minutes a month to have easy to swallow capsules, with NO aftertaste!

  14. Veletta Rhem says:

    I tried the peanut method tha Sally Potter does and it works great. I will also throw mine in the blender with my smoothie.

  15. Susan says:

    I took one pill of Centrum Silver one time and my eyes swelled I felt awful the whole day. I have over active thyroid so I think it maybe too much iodine. I couldn’t take it because of the side effects. The label looks nice for eyes, heart,memory, vitamins A through Z. Maybe if I take half of the huge pill the side effects might not be as bad.

    • Hi Susan,
      I’m not sure you should take even half a vitamin if you had a reaction. Seems like you should take a vitamin that your doc recommends for folks who have overactive thyroid. Just a thought.

  16. Nancy wrote:

    I’m not laughing so much about the size of those Centrum vitamins (one-a-day are even bigger!)…I choked on one so badly that I aspirated stuff into my lungs and caused stomach trauma so now I have gastritis. The size of the pill is a health hazard as far as I’m concerned!

  17. Christopher says:

    Hello Darlene,

    Came upon your site to figure out whether the pills I just bought were to be chewed/swallowed. I see one of the issues mentioned here is the inability to find a way to communicate digitally with the company. While true that centrum.com does not have an email address, a minute of digging turns out that the parent site is pfizer.com, which does indeed have a support form. Two categories that stick out are “General Company Information” and “Patient Assistance.” The link to the page is below.


    There’s also an email address found by running a “whois” inquiry on centrum.com, though they’re not likely to be able to answer your concerns, due to their position with the company: domainregistrations@pfizer.com

    In the mean time, you’ve made it clear I’m to swallow mine, though I’ve got the men’s, which doesn’t look very big compared to your description of the women’s. Thanks! 🙂

  18. Cynthia Tippett says:

    Do these vitamins work I’m 60 and need to take one a day. I hate swallowing pills. After reading about side effects that scared me. I didn’t think they were side effects to vitamins. As I have one in my hand I’m not sure what I want to do. Help

    • Hi Cynthia,
      I gave the vitamins away since they were too large for me to swallow. You can crush them, if you’d like. As far as “side effects,” I’m not an expert so I am not comfortable offering my opinion. I now take a chewable vitamin called MultiVites made by Vitafusion. They meet my needs for a multivitamin that is easy to swallow!
      All the Best,

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