Splitting pills saves money, but irritates drug companies

There are 61 comments on the Houston Chronicle story from Jan 29, 2006, titled Splitting pills saves money, but irritates drug companies. In it, Houston Chronicle reports that:

The University of Michigan is among the latest employers to implement a pill-splitting program to save money on prescription drugs.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Houston Chronicle.

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Steve

United States

#1 Feb 1, 2006
Take Viagra, Cialis or Levitra for example. Cialis comes in 5mg, 10 and 20mg tabs. They don't have a special coating and so can be split.

5mg=$10 pill
10mg $10 pill
20mg $10 pill

Huh!!! Indeed, if the stuff is sooooo expensive, why the same price for the 20mg as the 5mg? Bogus, I say.

Ask your doctor, "can I try a sample of Cialis or xxx" Take the sample which she'll give which is probably a 10mg,(ask if it's ok to split) try the half (5mg)) if that workes, very carefully cut a half again so now each pill makes 8 2.5mg tabs. If that "works" you're set. Simply tell the doc (if it's within your ethics--or simply be honest as to why you want to do this) that 20mg's are best.

Now if you buy 5 20mg tabs, depending on your need, you'll have 40 2.5tabs@$1.25 or 20 5mg tabs@$2.50 or 10 ten mg tabs @$5@.

I recommend Cialis as it is more specific for the proper receptors than Viagra and Levitra. Headache, serious stuffy nose and acid stomach seem to happen to most Viagra and Levitra users that I know. The Cialis seems to have minimal side effects.

I used to explain to others that Viagra was the "three step" med. One-pop a Tums, two--use 12 hour nasal spray and three--take something for the headache that will occur.

Warning--not all meds can be split, some have special coatings to allow it to dissolve not in the stomach but later in the intestine where the acid environment is gone.
Scott from New York

New York, NY

#2 Aug 10, 2006
Steve wrote:
Take Viagra, Cialis or Levitra for example. Cialis comes in 5mg, 10 and 20mg tabs. They don't have a special coating and so can be split.
5mg=$10 pill
10mg $10 pill
20mg $10 pill
Huh!!! Indeed, if the stuff is sooooo expensive, why the same price for the 20mg as the 5mg? Bogus, I say.
Ask your doctor, "can I try a sample of Cialis or xxx" Take the sample which she'll give which is probably a 10mg,(ask if it's ok to split) try the half (5mg)) if that workes, very carefully cut a half again so now each pill makes 8 2.5mg tabs. If that "works" you're set. Simply tell the doc (if it's within your ethics--or simply be honest as to why you want to do this) that 20mg's are best.
Now if you buy 5 20mg tabs, depending on your need, you'll have 40 2.5tabs@$1.25 or 20 5mg tabs@$2.50 or 10 ten mg tabs @$5@.
I recommend Cialis as it is more specific for the proper receptors than Viagra and Levitra. Headache, serious stuffy nose and acid stomach seem to happen to most Viagra and Levitra users that I know. The Cialis seems to have minimal side effects.
I used to explain to others that Viagra was the "three step" med. One-pop a Tums, two--use 12 hour nasal spray and three--take something for the headache that will occur.
Warning--not all meds can be split, some have special coatings to allow it to dissolve not in the stomach but later in the intestine where the acid environment is gone.
I love this this post. You are so right on. I have 100mg Viagra tablets that I split in 3 or 4 depending on how precise I cut. If I am drinking I feel I need a stronger dose though I know alcohol isnt recommended... The 3-step is so true... whenever I take Viagra I always need nasal spray, antiacid and a pain reliever - and i always wonder if the drug mix to relieve the side affects combined with the alcohol is dangerous....

My dr is cheap with giving free samples - bet he saves the V-L-C family of drugs for himself or his friends... lol but I got him to write the 3 pill @ 20mg which allowed me to use a free coupon from cialis website - after I send in a survey I get another 3 free so 6 total.

I am bad at cutting these oblong odd shaped pills. My pill cutter is designed primarily for tablets so I use an expensive cigar cutter - suggestions for pill cutting would be appreciated...

feel free to email me scottdn1@netscape.net
Roy

San Josť, Costa Rica

#3 Sep 17, 2006
I have used Viagra successfully for several years - I am 63 years old. In recent months it seems like the acid indigestion that follows after taking viagra is worse than ever, and lasts for several hours. Does anyone have recommendations other than eating bread, crackers, taking Tums, etc.
Ryan

AOL

#4 Oct 2, 2006
I have done a little research about erectile disfunction and have found that if you have a high cholesterol problem, it can also lead to E.D. Makes sense, since if your arteries are clogged with cholesterol, then it will make blood flow to your private areas difficult. Viagra, Levitra, and the rest work because it helps blood to curculate better. Maybe you should get your cholesterol checked and look into vitamins and nutrients that help increase blood flow. Maybe this will help the problem without the use of E.D. meds. Be sure to check with your doctor first, even before taking some suppliments. Good Luck.
Pffft

Lucas, OH

#5 Oct 4, 2006
All you liberals needing boner pills. Too funny! Why don't you liberals try getting jobs instead of getting boners?
Bob Dole

Wake Forest, NC

#6 Oct 17, 2006
Pffft wrote:
All you liberals needing boner pills. Too funny! Why don't you liberals try getting jobs instead of getting boners?
Erectile dysfunction is a serious quality of life issue, which can affect marital happiness and family stability, thus it is an issue of concern to Republicans and Democrats alike.
Sincerely,
Robert Dole
Robert and Liddy Dole

Wake Forest, NC

#7 Oct 17, 2006
Erectile dysfunction is a serious quality of life issue, which can affect marital happiness and family stability, thus it is an issue of concern to Republicans and Democrats alike. Advice on splitting pills may be useful to persons unable to pay the full price for medications, and thus adequately meet the demands of shareholders of pharmaceutical companies. Fortunately, the Republican party will continue to consistently oppose government funded health schemes, except for senators.
Sincerely,
Robert and Liddy Dole
Ken Welch

United States

#8 Nov 2, 2006
We have been selling the Swiss Pill Cutter for Viagra over the Internet since 1999. We don't get a lot of feedback, but a number of customers have emailed us that taking Viagra with a very large glass of water minimizes the nasal congestion and headaches.
We have recently added the Swiss Pill Cutter for Lipitor to the website - www.pillcutter.com . Since the typical Lipitor user spends $1,200 per year, this should save a lot of people a lot of money.
Ken Welch
kenwelch@pillcutter.com
d man

Winnipeg, Canada

#10 Jan 3, 2007
is it ok to take levitra when ur 20 years old say the 10 mg pill, just for fun to go longer or even take half a pill ?
Earl

Cary, IL

#11 Jan 4, 2007
Roy wrote:
I have used Viagra successfully for several years - I am 63 years old. In recent months it seems like the acid indigestion that follows after taking viagra is worse than ever, and lasts for several hours. Does anyone have recommendations other than eating bread, crackers, taking Tums, etc.
Quit taking the Viagra and deal with the fact that you are 63 years old.
christopher maynard

United States

#12 Jan 21, 2007
Is there any way you can send me some free samples of Viagra?
Old Man

Sewell, NJ

#13 Jan 23, 2007
Earl you are not to smart,it is not to old at 63 if you are in good shape.I am 75 and use 10mg.of levitra and it work ok.I did not need any help till I turned 70.I have high blood presure and take medicine for it but when it brings the BP down you need some help to get it up.
Earl

Cary, IL

#14 Jan 24, 2007
Old Man wrote:
Earl you are not to smart,it is not to old at 63 if you are in good shape.I am 75 and use 10mg.of levitra and it work ok.I did not need any help till I turned 70.I have high blood presure and take medicine for it but when it brings the BP down you need some help to get it up.
I don't think that 63 is too old to have an erection. I just think that it's not as good as it used to be. And I think that anyone who believes that there is a magic pill to change the effects of aging without causing further, possibly more serious problems, is not very smart.
Wes

Medford, NJ

#15 Feb 3, 2007
My pharmacist just said I shouldn't split Cialis because the coating makes it last 36 hrs, and splitting it makes the ingredients go into your blood faster, raising something (other than your tool). He also said the remaining piece loses it's potency while you wait for the next time. I'm not sure I agree, but wanted to hear if anyone else has experience or knowledge on this. They're too expensive NOT to split.
Michael McDowell

Belleville, Canada

#16 Feb 4, 2007
How much do you pay for Cialis?
Wes wrote:
My pharmacist just said I shouldn't split Cialis because the coating makes it last 36 hrs, and splitting it makes the ingredients go into your blood faster, raising something (other than your tool). He also said the remaining piece loses it's potency while you wait for the next time. I'm not sure I agree, but wanted to hear if anyone else has experience or knowledge on this. They're too expensive NOT to split.
carlos

Angeles, Philippines

#17 Feb 6, 2007
Using an acid controller like Pepcid AC (Famotidine)
an hour or two before taking ED meds will help a lot. These are non prescription, and the store brands are inexpensive. Also try reducing the dose by splitting. Maximum blood levels occur after 2to3 hours, so if you time the ED meds right, a much smaller dose is just as effective. p.s. NO caffeine or alcohol. They seem to exaggerate the acid problem with these meds.
Joe R

AOL

#18 Mar 6, 2007
is the coating on the Viagra pill, a so-called
enteric coating which should NOT be split, or is it in fact safe to split?
Also, should it be taken on an empty stomach, or is it better to take with at least a little food?
Geldo

London, UK

#19 Feb 29, 2008
To Wes: I've split Brand Cialis (20mg) and it works just fine, lasting a minimum of 36 hours.
Framer

Auckland, New Zealand

#21 Apr 23, 2008
Geldo wrote:
To Wes: I've split Brand Cialis (20mg) and it works just fine, lasting a minimum of 36 hours.
Does the remaining half work ok the next time as well?
Steve

Mount Pleasant, MI

#24 Sep 29, 2008
I've been splitting Cialis for years, and even a month or two later, the split open tablet works just as well.

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