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Adrienne Dellwo

Don't Split Pills for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By July 28, 2009

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Do you sometimes split pills in order to save money on your meds? According to the FDA, more people are trying that right now, generally by getting pills that are double the needed dosage and cutting them in half. It sounds like a good idea, but it can be dangerous. Here's why, according to the FDA:

  • You might forget the pills are stronger. Sometimes, even people without brain fog forget to split the pills and take too much.
  • The 2 sides may not be equal. Apparently, even in round pills with a line cut down the center, the 2 halves of a pill don't always contain the same amount of medication.
  • It doesn't always work well. Sometimes the pills are too crumbly, too small, or aren't a conveniently split shape. That can lead to irregular dosages.
  • It's not safe with all meds. Especially capsules and time-released drugs should always be taken whole. Cutting them can, for example, damage time-release coatings and make your body absorb the drug incorrectly.

If you want to know whether it's safe to cut a pill, check the prescribing information or ask your pharamacist.

Have you split pills to save money on meds? Have you had a problem because of it? What are some better ways to save money? Here are some ideas I've shared before:

Help us all out by letting us know what has helped you save on health care -- leave a comment below!


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Photo © Walter B. McKenzie/Getty Images

July 31, 2009 at 9:41 pm
(1) Trish says:

I’d prefer not to split pills, but Caresource/Medicaid (in Ohio) doesn’t give me a choice. A couple of the medications I take are only payed for at the higher doseage, with instructions to split the pills. It’s frustrating.

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