Definition of Tablet splitting

Tablet splitting: The practice of cutting tablets in half. The reason is usually financial. To reduce costs, a physician may prescribe pills that have twice the dose a patient needs and then ask the patient to split the pills in half. To make sure the patient takes the correct dose, patients are given (or buy) a device called a tablet splitter to split the pills in half. Cutting pills into two equal halves can be tricky, even with a tablet splitter. The unequal halves of a pill mean that some pills have more medicine and some have less. This may be harmful to some patients. Tablets cannot be split if they are coated to protect the stomach, provide drug release throughout the day, crumble easily, irritate the mouth, taste extremely bitter, or contain dyes that could stain the teeth and mouth. Tablet splitting is not universally recommended.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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