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The dos and don'ts of pill splitting

orange pills.jpg

In a Consumer Reports survey conducted earlier this year, 39 percent of respondents said they had taken some sort of action to reduce the costs of their prescription drugs. A Health Blog entry today discusses one such action - pill splitting - and highlights tips for patients:

  • First, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your medication can be safely split. Some medications cannot be split... but in general, many common ones can, including aspirin, cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, and many high blood pressure and depression drugs.
  • Second, always use a pill splitter to ensure you've split the medication into equal halves...
  • Don’t split your pills with a knife. Studies show that doing so too often leads to unequal halves...
  • Don't split your pills in advance. Some pills may deteriorate when exposed to air and moisture for long periods after being split...

In 2002, a Stanford study showed that pill-splitting can indeed yield significant cost savings. But the lead author, Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, also stressed that patients need to talk with their doctors before splitting pills.

Photo by Pink Sherbert Photography

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