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The best pill cutter practices that will help maximize your savings

Cutting pills can be a savvy way to lower your prescription drug spending. Knowing the best pill cutter practices can help maximize your savings.

How to build the best pill cutter strategy for you.

Always discuss pill cutting with your doctor or pharmacist, before starting. It is best to use a pill cutter, to split your pill’s dosage.

When cutting pills, it is common practice to divide them in half, instead of quarters. Talk to your physician though, because you may be able to cut the medication into quarters. It is best to use a pill cutter, instead of a kitchen knife, so you can get a more precise cut.

What type of savings are we talking about?

Say you have a 30-day prescription of 40mg Lipitor. Well, the first thing you want to do is make sure you are getting the generic version, which is called Atorvastatin Calcium. By simply switching to the generic, you can save a significant amount of money. In this example, you go from paying $256.90 for Lipitor to $9.51 for a 30-day supply of 40mg Atorvastatin. That’s a savings of $2,968.68 a year!

Many people know you should always fill the generic first though. So let’s take the savings a step further. If a doctor has cleared you for getting the medication’s higher dose, then you can start cutting pills to save money.

One of the best pill cutter examples is for 30-days of 40mg Atorvastatin Calcium (Lipitor). As we said before, you can get 30 days of it for $9.51. So say you got a 90-day prescription of 80mg Atorvastatin Calcium from your doctor. If you cut those pills in half, you would be able to get 180 days worth of the same medication for only $24.48. That’s about 14 cents a pill, per 40mg dose, compared to the 32 cents a dose you’d be paying having not split the pill and had gone with only a 30-day supply.

Pill costs for Lipitor/Atorvastatin Calcium, per 30-day supply:

  • Lipitor 40mg: $8.56 per pill or $3,124.40 for a year’s worth of medication
  • Atorvastatin Calcium 40mg: $0.32 per pill or $116.80 for a year’s worth of medication
  • Atorvastatin Calcium 90-day supply of 80mg cut in half: $0.14 per half of pill or $51.10 for a year’s worth of medication

Try Searching the LowestMed Price for your Drug!

Is pill splitting right for you and your medication?

Below is a list of pills that can usually be split. If your medication is the list, consider talking to your doctor or pharmacist about pill splitting to lower your prescription costs.

Pill cutting works by getting a higher dose of a medication and cutting it in halves or quarters to reach your dosage. This practice is an easy way to literally cut your Rx costs in half.

Here is a list of pills that can usually be cut

  1. Norvasc (Amlodipine)
  2. Tenormin (Atenolol)
  3. Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium)
  4. Celexa (Citalopram)
  5. Klonopin (Clonazepam)
  6. Cardura (Doxazosin)
  7. Proscar (Finasteride)
  8. Synthroid (Levothyroxine)
  9. Zestril (Lisinopril)
  10. Mevacor (Lovastatin)
  11. Glucophage (Metformin)
  12. Toprol (Metoprolol)
  13. Serzone (Nefazodone)
  14. Zyprexa (Olanzapine)
  15. Paxil (Paroxetine)
  16. Pravachol (Pravastatin)
  17. Accupril (Quinapril)
  18. Crestor (Rosuvastatin Calcium)
  19. Zoloft (Sertraline)
  20. Viagra (Sildenafil)
  21. Zocor (Simvastatin)

Can you cut any pill?

Not all pills can be cut, which is why you should always talk to your physician or pharmacist before doing anything related to modifying prescription drug treatment. 

Here is a list of pills that cannot be cut.

  1. Oxycodone
  2. Omeprazole
  3. Cetirizine
  4. Chemotherapy drugs
  5. Anti-seizure medications
  6. Birth control pills
  7. Blood thinners
  8. Gel or powder capsules
  9. Pills with hard outside coatings or coatings to protect your stomach
  10. Pills that release the drug through the day (extended or delayed release)
  11. Pills that crumble easily
  12. Pill that irritate the mouth or taste bitter
  13. Pills with strong dyes that could stain your teeth or mouth

Know this before you start cutting pills.

Not all prescription drugs can be cut into lower doses. Be sure to discuss pill cutting with your doctor, before using this cost-saving practice. If you get the go-ahead, this could be a great way to lower your Rx spending even more.