A lot of prescription drugs are priced so high that they're out of reach for the people who need them. That's why the practice of pill splitting is growing in popularity. That's where doctors prescribe a double dose in each pill so that patients can split the pill and save money, sort of a two for one deal.
Pill splitting can be such a cost saver that even the Department of Veteran Affairs saved $46 million in 2003 by having patients split one heart medication. That's the encouraging part. Here's what you really need to remember. Do not go to the medicine cabinet and cut the pills you already have. That can be very dangerous without specific instructions from your doctor, especially if you're taking time release medications.
"The tablet probably should not be broken in half because it's designed to be delivered over a 24 hour period. If you break it in half, you might deliver all of the medication within just a few moments, and that could be very dangerous for a patient," says pharmacologist, Kevin Snead, PhD.
So, if cost is a concern, ask your doctor if your medication can be doubled in dosage and then split to save money. And if you get the okay from your doctor, be sure to use a pill splitter, which you can get pretty cheap at the drug store. Never split a pill with a kitchen knife or a razor blade because you'll get a messy cut, but a pill splitter can help you make sure the dose is evenly divided.