A pill-splitter is a simple and inexpensive device to split medicinal pills or tablets, comprising some means of holding the tablet in place, a blade, and usually a compartment in which to store the unused part. The tablet is positioned, and the blade pressed down to split it. With care it is often possible to cut a tablet into quarters.
Pill-spiting can be an effective way to save money on pharmaceutical costs. Many prescription pharmaceuticals are sold on a per dose or tablet basis. For example a 10 mg tablet of a given drug might be sold for the same or nearly the same price as a 5 mg tablet. Splitting a 10 mg tablet allows the patient to purchase half the number of tablets while still receiving the same amount of the active drug. Care must be taken in identifying drugs that may be safely split while still delivering half the dose with the same or similar efficacy. Generally scored pills may be safely split however time release and capsule supplied drugs should not be split. Split pills may be uneven and thus the amount per dose may vary. In practice these variations are often minor enough as not to cause major dosing issues and are in fact within generic drug active ingredient guidelines. Patients wishing to split their pills should request their physician to write their prescriptions as such to help avoid incorrect dosing.
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