Is It Safe To Split Pills In Half?

You can pop a pill at any time, but that doesn't mean it will always have the same effect. After all, most medications work best when taken at the same time of day, on a full or empty stomach, or when the first symptoms arise. According to AARP, the time you choose to take your medicine is often directly linked to how well the drug works and the prevention of uncomfortable side effects. Knowing what time to take your pill and if you should take it with food is critical. Luckily, many pill bottles and packages come with the necessary directions — but what about if you make the choice to half your dosage on your own? 

Firstly, halving your dosage might not be as easy as you assume. According to WebMD, some pills are so small that it can be hard to split them down the middle. Here is what you need to know about pill splitting.

Not all pills are safe to cut in half

When you cut certain pills in half, you risk crushing them into powder, which makes equal dosing nearly impossible to achieve. The same goes if it is a gel-filled capsule, according to WebMD. In addition, shaky hands and or impaired vision can get in the way of your DIY splicing.

There are a few valid reasons as to why some of us choose to split our drugs. The Harvard Medical School notes that splitting pills may at times be necessary if you need to adjust your dosage, or perhaps you're doing it because it makes them easier to swallow. Before you make the call yourself, you should consult with your doctor or pharmacist first. If you are curious as to whether the pills you are currently taking are safe for splitting, check the instructions. If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for splitting, it will say so on the label, according to WebMD.

Popping needed or prescribed pills may be a quick fix to managing a medical condition. Just make sure you follow your doctor or pharmacist's instructions on how and when to take them. This includes taking them half or whole.