Are you or a loved one a pill splitter? If so, we encourage you to consider why you are splitting pills. Is it because you, or your loved one, have “decided” they don’t need a full dose, perhaps to save money or is it because your doctor recommended it? Another reason people split pills from time to time is to make them easier to swallow.
Once you know the “why”, it’s important to make sure you know “how”. Make note of the pills that you take and see if they have a score mark on them; if so they may be meant to be split. There are some pills that are not meant to be split, and your doctor may have more, but here is a short list:
- High blood pressure medications
- Cholesterol lowering medications
- Timed-release pills
If you have a pill that both you and your doctor deem is appropriate to split, you should use a pill splitter, rather than attempting to snap it in half or use a kitchen knife. If you’re splitting a pill you need to assure it’s split evenly so that you don’t get too high of a dose at one time and too low the next.
The reasons you or your doctor may decide that it’s all right to split pills could be a way to save you money because higher potency drugs may cost the same as lower potency ones and if you can split a higher potency you can effectively double your medications and cut costs.
If you notice that your aging or ill parents are cutting their pills, ask them to stop until they have cleared it with their doctor. While you’re at their home take time to go through their medicine cabinet and see if there are other medications that are out of date or that they should be taking, but aren’t.
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