Best Pill Splitter – What Is It?
A best pill splitter is a device used to split pills into smaller doses so they are easier to swallow. There are many different types of pill splitting devices available on the market today. Some work better than others, but all have their advantages and disadvantages. A good quality pill splitter will last for years and can save your life if properly maintained.
What Are They Used For?
Pill splitting is one of the most common ways to take advantage of over-the-counter medications. You may not think it would be, but there are actually a number of situations where taking medication with food or drink could prove useful. One such situation is when you’re out camping and need to consume large amounts of water quickly. Another example is when you’re traveling through a foreign country and need to consume large quantities of medication without having access to pharmacies.
The main purpose of pill splitting is to reduce the amount of time it takes for your body to break down and eliminate the medication from your system. If you do this right, then you’ll likely experience fewer side effects than if you were simply consuming the drug on its own.
How Do They Work?
Pill splitters have a few different ways of working. One is by using a serrated cutting edge that will turn the pill into smaller pieces, but not actually shatter or splinter the pill. These types of devices are typically suitable for use on all types of pills, except capsules.
Some pill splitters work by using a blade to effectively split the pill in half. These often look like scissors and are suitable for splitting most pills.
If you need to split a capsule, however, you’ll need to look for a different type of pill splitter.
Other types of pill splitters work by using a blade that will actually shatter the pill and separate the pieces so that you can take them separately. If you have access to one of these devices, you can use it to break up other substances that are difficult to crush, such as sleeping pills or other drugs.
Why Do You Need One?
Most people don’t really think they need one until they actually need one. Once the moment arrives, however, and you find yourself in a situation where your life could be at risk without it, then you’ll wish you had bought one sooner. If you have a medical condition that requires you to take medication on a regular basis, then having a pill splitter can literally save your life. Here are some of the most common reasons why you might find yourself needing one.
Taking medication with meals – If you take medication that shouldn’t be taken on an empty stomach, but you struggle to remember to take it with food, then a pill splitter can help. By splitting your tablets in half, you’ll find it much easier to remember when to take them.
Reducing the size of your pill – If you struggle to swallow a certain size or shape of pill, then a pill splitter can help. By splitting the pill into smaller pieces, it’ll be much easier to consume them.
Breaking tablets up – If you need to break a tablet in half or in quarters, then a pill splitter will work perfectly for the job.
What Should You Look For?
There are a few different features that you’ll want to keep an eye out for when you’re looking for a pill splitter. Not all of these are going to be available on every device that you come across, so it’s important that you know what your personal needs are before making a purchase.
Portable – Some pill splitters are designed to be taken with you. These are particularly useful if you travel a lot, or need to split medication on a regular basis while you’re not at home.
Crushes tablets – Some pill splitters are designed to crush tablets as well as split them. These can be useful if you struggle to find tablets small enough to take, as these devices will crush the pill into a fine powder that’s easy to swallow.
Safety features – Some pill splitters are designed with extra safety features. Safety caps to stop you from accidentally taking out a blade, safety locks to stop the device opening when it’s in your pocket or bag, and other extra safety features may be useful to some users.
Just like any other medical device, there are certain precautions that you need to take when using a pill splitter. If you suffer from any conditions that affect your dexterity or strength, such as Parkinson’s or shaky hands, then a pill splitter may not be suitable for you to use.
It’s also important to remember never to place the pill in your mouth and the blade on the outside of your mouth at the same time. Doing so could cause an accident if the blade pierces the skin in your mouth.
How to use a pill splitter safely:
Before you use your pill splitter for the first time, or after you haven’t used it for a while, it’s important to check that all of the components are working properly and there are no loose parts that could cause harm. Check the device over for any signs of damage such as cracks or loose pieces and, if there are, do not attempt to use it.
Ensure that the part of the pill splitter that holds the tablet is clean before you use it. Dirt or other contaminants could stop the blade from operating safely.
Place one tablet into the hole that holds the tablet and make sure that it sits securely in place. This will prevent the blade from cutting too far into the tablet and causing an explosion hazard.
Never put your fingers over the hole that the blade cuts through. The blade is extremely sharp and even the smallest cut could lead to complications if located in a delicate area such as the finger pad.
When not in use, store your pill splitter in a safe place to prevent accidents.
How it’s Made
A pill splitter is made up of several different components that are all specifically designed for a certain purpose. Each one is able to split a tablet without causing an explosion hazard or causing any other issues that may compromise your safety.
The most important part of the tablet is the blade for obvious reasons. For this reason, a pill splitter has an adjustable blade that slots over the top of the pill to create a clean cut.
This can then be used to separate the tablet into two so that you’re able to take half of the dose at a time.
The blade slots into a metal casing that holds it in place and keeps your fingers away from the blade itself. A handle on the other side of the casing allows you to easily slide the blade down onto the pill.
On the opposite end of the casing is a plastic piece that acts as a stop so that you don’t cut the tablet in half too much. If you do this by mistake, you may not be able to separate the two halves easily which would result in you having to take both at the same time.
A plastic ring with small nubs on it attaches to the other end of the metal casing. This allows you to hold the splitter comfortably and ensures that your fingers don’t slip near the blade.
Some pill splitters also have a finger loop attached to this piece which allows you to firmly grip the splitter while you cut the tablet.
How to use your Pill Splitter
Step 1: Prepare Your Tablet
Before you start cutting your pill, it’s important to make it is ready. This means cleaning any dust or contaminants off of the surface to ensure that your blade cuts through the tablet correctly.
You should also make sure that the pill is dry as exposure to water or moisture could cause problems when attempting to cut it. If there are any small parts that seem likely to fly off during cutting, make sure you hold them down to prevent injury.
Step 2: Place the Pill in the Splitter
Once your pill is ready to go, you need to place it firmly into the top of the splitter. It should sit inside a hole that holds it in place, making it unable to move or fall out while you cut.
If you’re using a pill splitter with a loop attachment, you can place the tablet here for extra security.
Step 3: Grab the Handles
Hold the handles of your pill splitter firmly in either hand. Make sure that your fingers are nowhere near the blade as even the smallest cut could cause issues later on.
Step 4: Cut the Tablet
With your tablet in place, you’re now ready to cut it. To do this, simply press down firmly on the blade with your thumbs.
As long as your pill is centered correctly in the splitter and you apply equal pressure with both hands, the tablet should be cut straight down the middle. Depending on the thickness of your tablet, you may need to use a bit of extra pressure to drive the blade through.
Step 5: Safely Remove the Blade
Once you’ve cut the pill, you should be able to see a clean line down the middle where the split occurred. At this point, you can remove the blade using the handle and carefully set it aside.
You should always be careful when doing this as the blade is extremely sharp and even the slightest slip could cause an injury. Once it’s out of the way, you can move onto the next step.
Step 6: Separate the Pill into Two Even Portions
Now that your pill is cut, you should be able to see a clear dividing line down the middle. All you need to do is gently pry the pieces apart using the plastic ring as a handle.
As long as you cut the pill correctly, the halves should come off easily leaving you with two even portions.
Step 7: Check Each Portion for Pills
Once you’ve got two equal sized pieces, you need to quickly check them to make sure that you didn’t end up with an odd half. If either piece is uneven, it probably means that the cutting wasn’t done correctly and you need to throw the entire thing away.
Odd portions can be extremely dangerous to take, so it’s in your best interest to discard the entire thing if this happens.
Step 8: Take your Pills
The final step is to take your medication. Since most medications come in easily divided doses, all you need to do is pick up a portion of the pill and swallow it with some water.
From here, you can either repeat the process until all of the pills gone or take the entire portion at once if it’s a large pill.
Using a pill cutter at home is a simple and effective solution to the problem of oversized pills. By following the steps listed above, you can quickly and safely cut your medication into equal portions that are easy to take.
Ideally, you should store your pills in their original containers along with the rest of your medication so that you can always keep track of everything you have available.
Sources & references used in this article:
Family of pill splitters and method of manufacture by CT Reitano – US Patent 6,644,528, 2003 – Google Patents
Pill splitter by J Fiocchi – US Patent 5,118,021, 1992 – Google Patents
Pill splitter for complex pill forms by CT Reitano – US Patent 6,474,525, 2002 – Google Patents
Pill splitter by PC Williams – US Patent 7,458,300, 2008 – Google Patents
Quartering pill splitter by CT Reitano – US Patent 6,968,987, 2005 – Google Patents
Illuminated pill splitter with magnifying glass by H Weinstein – US Patent 5,944,243, 1999 – Google Patents
Pill splitter by C Dienst – US Patent App. 09/912,830, 2003 – Google Patents
Pill splitter with protected blade and locking arm by A Petrie, K Browning – US Patent App. 12/127,207, 2008 – Google Patents