How To Cut A Pill Without A Pill Cutter

Using a pill cutter is the most recommended way to split pills. But, sometimes, you might not need a pill cutter to break certain types of tablets. In this article, you will find answers to the below questions –

What Precautions To Take Before Splitting Pills?

Before you decide to split your pills, you will have to get your doctor’s or pharmacist’s permission to do so. Not all medications are allowed to separate, as it might change the composition of the pill. You might not achieve the intended use of the drug if you cut such tablets.

You have to be careful while using any other tools which might have sharp edges or blades to avoid injury.


You may also like Can You Bring a Pill Cutter on an Airplane?


4 Ways To Split Pills Without A Pill Cutter

Few medications in the market have a score on them. A score is a straight line on the top of your tablet. If your pill has a score, it implies that you can cut the pill in half along the line. In case you do not have a score along with the tablet, you can create your score by marking with a sharp knife or scalpel. 

By Hand

Once the score is outlined on the tablet, you can snap it with your hands along the score, splitting it in half. Hold the tablet with your two thumbs and press it outwards. The tablet will split in half along the score. It is one of the most prominent ways in which people cut a pill at home. Sometimes, you might crush the pill a little if you are holding it tightly.

Information on several online forums tends to vote this as the most efficient way. For pills that do not fit into a pill splitter, splitting them by hand is the best way.

Cut Pills By Hand

To have a score on the pill, you can move the scalpel in a straight line across the tablet. Not just once, as it might not be enough for a clean cut. You can try once or twice. You need not put much pressure on the tablet to get a deep score. 

This method is useful, but there are some things you have to note:

  • You might lose a small quantity of the pill when you score it. Using a scalpel that is very thin and sharp will keep the loss as little as possible
  • This method might not work for smaller tablets. The main reason is that you cannot grip them conveniently with your thumbs. It is tough to get the necessary leverage. You might also lose more tablets while scoring or splitting.
  • The shape of the pill might also impact the efficacy of this method.


You may also like How to Sharpen a Pill Cutter


By Scissors

Netizens have also pointed out that using nail scissors for their pets has helped them. This method might be useful when your medicines are small and round. Using stainless steel scissors instead of plastic ones might be more helpful.

By Tweezers

Single edge razor blades that have a scraper-type holder can also help you split your pills. You can use tweezers that are rubber coated to hold the tablet firmly. The tweezer will also help in keeping the shattered parts from splattering everywhere.

Serrated Knife

You can use a sharp serrated knife to cut into the pill gently. It will make a groove on top of the tablet. Then you can apply even pressure on the tablet to cut it in half.

Serrated Knife to cut pills

What Pills Should Not Be Split?

It is advised not to cut pills with delayed-release ingredients or long-lasting ones or containing a mixture of active ingredients. If your medications have an external coating that protects your stomach, they are usually unsafe to cut. It is better to avoid splitting chemotherapy drugs and blood thinners.

Small pills are generally challenging to split. Trying to break such ills will result in risking the number of active ingredients in each dose. If you have a tablet that can crumble and not a vital medication, you can try to smash it into little pieces, mix it with applesauce or jam and eat them.



You might also be interested in reading: