A new study found in the Journal of Advanced Nursing explains the act of splitting pills may alter medications and potentially harm those taking them.
Splitting pills is common among health professionals as well as patients, typically when trying to reduce negative side effects from certain medications.
Belgian scientists explain that split pills may alter dosage requirements by at least 15 percent. Even with the help of a pill splitting machine, recommended dosage levels varied by up to 25 percent.
For the study, pills were split using scissors, knives, and machines designed to split pills. After being split, each piece of pill was weighed and compared to original pill weight.
Many doctors have suggested splitting of pills as a method to make pills easier to take for patients and to reduce costs of buying medications.
This study shows that pill splitting is not recommended by experts. Even when suggested or performed by a doctor, split pills can be drastically different than recommended dosage levels.
Experts recommend asking for smaller dosages instead of splitting pills.