Split a pill without a pill splitter

A reader asked if he could safely split a higher-dose pill for his prescribed dose. I'm in favor of this practice--it can save you up to 50% on drug costs--but there are caveats. The ideal candidate is a tablet that is scored (has a groove down the middle) on at least one side. Some of the tabs on the fit-to-split list below are unscored but are still deemed safe to cut. The pill to split should contain twice your prescribed dosage. Inexpensive pill splitters are widely available; slice only one tablet at a time, and take each half before cracking another--some pills degrade faster when opened. Meds to cut include:

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Fit to Split

atorvastatin (Lipitor) metformin (Glucophage) rosuvastatin (Crestor)
citalopram (Celexa) nefazodone (Serzone) sertraline (Zoloft)
clonazepam (Klonopin) olanzapine (Zyprexa) sildenafil (Viagra)
finasteride (Proscar) paroxetine (Paxil) simvastatin (Zocor)
lisinopril (Zestril) pravastatin (Pravachol) tadalafil (Cialis)
lovastatin (Mevacor) quinapril (Accupril) vardenafil (Levitra)
Note: This list is by no means complete! Check with your pharmacist and prescriber to see if your tablets are candidates for splitting.

Do Not Split:


Capsules or gel caps


Tablets that break into multiple pieces--you won't get an accurate dose


Sustained-release (SR) or extended-release (XR) tablets (a few such pills can be split--check with your prescriber)


Enteric-coated tablets ("candylike" hard coating) Tablets designed to be placed under the tongue (sublingual)


Tablets designed to be placed between the cheek and gum (buccal)


Certain two- or three-drug combination tablets (e.g., Capozide)


Narrow therapeutic index (NTI) drugs (e.g., warfarin, digoxin, lithium)


Note: There may be other reasons that tablets should not be split, so always check with your prescriber and pharmacist first.


Richard Harkness is a consultant pharmacist and author of five books on evidence-based natural medicine.

Video: Split PIlls Safely | Consumer Reports

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Date: 01.12.2018, 13:48 / Views: 75393