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How to cut pills

As the cost of pharmaceuticals continues to rise, taking advantage of the way drugs are manufactured and priced can save you considerable amounts of money. Most of the cost of pharmaceuticals is wrapped up in research and marketing, not manufacturing.

Many drugs are priced the same regardless of the dose because drug manufacturers don't want cost to be a determining factor when doctor's are deciding how much of a drug to prescribe. Therefore, a patient can order the larger pill that contains double the dose, cut the pill in half and save up to 50%.

How does pill cutting work?

Quite simply put, you cut your double-strength tablet in half to yield two tablets. Each half tablet contains your required dosage.

For instance, DoctorSolve sells a one-month supply of 20-mg Lipitor for $159.75. DoctorSolve also sells a one-month supply of 40-mg Lipitor for $185.00. So if you require a prescription of 20-mg Lipitor you could buy a month's supply of the 40-mg pills, cut them in half, essentially getting an extra month's supply of Lipitor for only $6.31.

Which drugs can be cut?

As a general guideline, the following drugs can be split:

  • Cholesterol drugs (i.e., Lipitor)
  • Blood pressure drugs (ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers)
  • Antidepressants (i.e., Zoloft)
  • Valtrex (anti viral drug)

Is pill splitting safe?

You might wonder if cutting pills is safe. Despite the health concerns raised by drug manufacturers, recent studies show that pill cutting, when done correctly, is perfectly safe for many drugs.

Correct pill cutting does not involve kitchen knives and a cutting board. Most pharmaceutical companies manufacture pill cutters designed to make pill cutting easier. Simply open the cutter and set the pill inside. Then close the cutter and a blade cuts through the pill. It is important to check the condition and orientation of the pill cutting blade. If the blade is loose or not level, your pills will not be cut evenly.

How much will a pill cutter cost?

Pill cutters normally range from $5-$15. Currently, DoctorSolve sells pill cutters for $5.35.

Click here to purchase a pill cutter from DoctorSolve.

Is pill cutting right for you?

To determine if pill cutting is right for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Would you like to save money on your prescription costs?
  • Are you taking Cholesterol drugs, Blood pressure drugs, Antidepressants, or Valtrex?
  • Does your physician agree that pill-splitting is a viable option for you?
  • Do you have the manual dexterity and vision to safely cut your pills?

It is important that you are comfortably able to split your pills.  If you have an arthritic condition that prevents you from cutting your pills safely and effectively, pill cutting may not be a viable option.

How do you cut pills?

Below are step-by-step instructions with photographs that show you how to split your pills. If you have additional questions, contact your physician or pharmacist.

Step 1 - Open the pill cutter

Pill Cutting Step One
  1. Place the pill cutter on a flat surface to make sure the cut is straight
  2. Open the cover of your pill cutter

Step 2 - Placing your pill in the pill cutter

Pill Cutting Step Two
  1. Pour your pills into a small dry bowl
  2. One by one, put pills into your pill cutter

Note - the pill should be secured (flush with the sides of your pill cutter) to ensure a straight cut.


Step 3 - Cutting your pill in half

Pill Cutting Step 3A
  1. Stabilize your pill cutter with one hand
  2. With your free hand, press the top down slowly but firmly (ensuring that the blade travels completely through your pill).

Note - to cut your pill properly, follow the motion outlined in the adjacent pictures.


Pill Cutting Step 3A
Pill Cutting Step 3C

Step 4 - Removing and storing your split pills

Pill Cutting Step Two
  1. Remove the split pills from your pill cutter
  2. Place the split pills in your clean, dry prescription bottle
  3. Please store your pills safely in a cool, dry place, and ensure your pills are stored away from children and pets
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