Hand Breaking May Be Best for Splitting Aspirin Tablets

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Knives should be avoided, but PillTool best when a splitting device is necessary
Knives should be avoided, but PillTool best when a splitting device is necessary

HealthDay News — Using your hands may be best for splitting an aspirin tablet, according to a study published online January 24 in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

Alexandra V.R. van Reuler, from the VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam, and colleagues evaluated the precision of aspirin tablet subdivision using four methods: PillTool, hand, knife, and Pilomat. Accuracy of the pill split was assessed using uniformity of weight and loss of mass. 

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The researchers found that evaluating the difference score, the knife method was less precise than the PillTool, the hand method, and the Pilomat (all P<0.001). There was a statistically significantly smaller loss of mass (mg) for the hand (P<0.001) and the PillTool (P<0.001) versus the knife and the Pilomat. The only method to comply with the adapted European Pharmacopoeia test was breaking by hand, whereas tablets broken by PillTool and hand fulfilled the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's test for loss of mass.

"Based on the results of our study, we recommend hand breaking and to avoid a knife for the best weight uniform tablets," the authors write.

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