Objectives: To examine what patients do when they have a prescription with a dosage where tablets must be split. Methods: Interviews were performed at 12 pharmacies across Sweden with pharmacy customers who had prescriptions with a dosage meaning that the tablets have to be divided to give the prescribed individual dose. Key findings: Of the 436 pharmacy customers interviewed, 255 (58.5%) reported they divided the tablets without tools and 162 (37.2%) used tools, the most common was a knife. Only few used a tablet splitter. Almost every third patient (31.4%) stated they had problems to divide the tablets. Conclusions: Patients’ difficulties in splitting tablets are common, but seem to be overlooked. Pharmacists should be permitted to adjust dispensing to a strength corresponding to the prescribed dosage level, price policies with flat prices need to be revised to eliminate economic incentives to prescribe dosages with split tablets and a computerised decision support should be developed signalling when there is a suitable strength for the prescribed individual dose.
B E Anders Ekedahl,
Patients´Experiences of Splitting Tablets, Clinical Medicine Research.
Vol. 2, No. 4,
2013, pp. 58-62.
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