Can you cut zoloft in half? (A Brief Guide)
This blog post will answer the question, “Can you cut zoloft in half?”. In this blog, we will discuss all there is to know about splitting your zoloft in half. We will also discuss best tablet splitting strategies in order to achieve uniform dose separation and will also discuss why it is sometimes needed.
Is it possible for you to cut your zoloft in half?
Yes, you can split your zoloft tablet in half. The tablet usually has a split line, located in the center. That line can be used to snap the drug in half. Not doing it right can result in dose variation and you might end up taking a bit more or less than you’re actually supposed to.
Zoloft, an antidepressant, is available in various strengths. These include:
- 25 mg
- 50 mg
- 100 mg
Now, these strengths are used in different ways to take as much dose as your doctor has prescribed. If you’re new on zoloft and your doctor starts your treatment with zoloft from a 12.5 mg dose, you need to split your 25 mg tablet in half to take 12.5 mg.
Similarly if your doctor prescribes 75 mg, you need to take one 50 mg and one 25 mg tablet. Pill splitting is also used by some people to reduce the cost of medication, but improper splitting can sometimes result in inadequate therapeutic response.
Pill splitting is recommended only if your doctor has prescribed it. You should always ask your doctor for effective and reliable ways to split your tablet in half, while ensuring equal dose distribution.
How to split your tablet properly
Following are a few ways to split your tablet in half:
Use a tablet splitter
Tablet splitter is a small device used to break tablets in equal halves. Though it is a reliable technique, it might crush weaker tablets instead of splitting them. Use these splitters only if your zoloft can withstand the pressure without being crushed into tiny little pieces.
Use your hands
Yes, it does sound like a less reliable method to split your meds, but if the tablet has a deep split line or a groove, it is easier to just hold the two halves of the tablet and snap it in half. If you try that out but observe uneven sizes of the two halves, do not continue doing it
Note: It is not recommended to use a knife or scissors to break your pills in half. These methods can crush your tablet down or disturb the uniformity of dose by cracking the tablet from the sides.
Tablet splitting practices
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended best tablet splitting practices. These include:
- Make sure you read the leaflet or tablet guide carefully and see if it has some instructions to properly split your tablet in half.
- If you have to split your tablet to achieve lower doses, split at the time of taking it. It is not recommended to split all of your tablets at once. This might cause them to deteriorate over time.
- Make sure your tablet is meant to be broken in half. Some tablets are not that stable and they don’t have split lines in them. This is probably because the active ingredient is not uniformly divided in them and they should be taken at one time.
- If your healthcare provider has recommended to split your dose, you can ask him for a guide in order to do it in the best possible way. Your doctor will give you a demo and recommend some tablet splitting device, if necessary.
- Sustained release tablets should not be splitted. These tablets are designed in such a way that they take hours to dissolve and release active pharmacological ingredient in your body. These are modified release tablets, used to control and maintain the concentration of drug in your body.
- If you change the brand of your medication, make sure if the new formulation has any split line or if it is meant to be splitted at all.
- The process of breaking your tablet in half should be done only if recommended by your doctor. It is not advised to do such practice on your own.
What factors lead to cutting your zoloft tablet in half?
In usual practice, your doctor prescribes you a dose which is easier for you to take. Normally, there is no requirement for you to split your tablet in half. This happens when your doctor wishes to achieve lower doses, which are not available as a separate formulation in the market.
Lower doses are required when you are a new zoloft user. For those who get diagnosed with depression for the first time, it is not recommended to start from higher doses.
Zoloft is not tolerated well by everyone so it’s best to try the lowest dose first and this where your doctor might ask you to take 12.5 mg which is not available in the market. The lowest available strength is 25 mg. This is where you’re supposed to split your 25 mg tablet in half.
Another reason for taking this lower dose is zoloft withdrawal. Just like you start from the lowest possible dose and reach a relatively higher dose, similarly when it’s time for you to stop using zoloft, your doctor gradually starts decreasing the dose until you finally stop using it.
Usually 25 mg is considered the final dose before stopping the med but some people don’t get stable even after stopping 25 mg and end up requiring 12.5 mg zoloft to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms.
Dose splitting is also done when zoloft is prescribed to children. Multiple factors are considered before determining the dose for little children as their physiological composition is different from adults. Their dose is often calculated in accordance with their body weight.
Why is zoloft prescribed?
Zoloft is used to treat multiple psychological conditions. These include:
- Mild to moderate depression
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic attacks
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
Make sure you take zoloft properly
Zoloft is available in both tablet and oral liquid form:
Tablets can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. It’s best to eat something before taking it, in order to avoid acid reflux. Make sure you take it as directed by your healthcare provider.
If it is required to split your tablet in half, make sure you do it properly and divide it in equal halves. Do not split another tablet before consuming the one already splitted.
Oral solution comes with a measuring device. Measure the amount accurately. You can dilute it in water. If water is too bland for you, you can mix it in some lemonade, ginger ale or lemon soda, to mask the taste better.
In this blog, we discussed if it’s okay to split your zoloft tablet in half. We also learned about splitting practices recommended by the FDA. Tablet splitting is usually required when your healthcare provider tries to achieve a lower dose for you.
Lower doses are not available in the market as a separate formulation. Zoloft is only available in three strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg. Make sure you ask your doctor before splitting your dose.
Some people try this technique for cost reduction but it might lead to uneven dose distribution. It is strictly not recommended to split tablets and store them for later use.
Splitting tablets can mess up with their stability and could result in deterioration of active pharmacological ingredient within the tablet, if left unused for a long period of time.
FAQs: can you cut zoloft in half
Can sertraline tablets be halved?
Yes, sertraline tablet form has a split line on it, which can be used to divide the medicine in two equal halves. It is best to talk to your healthcare provider if this is something you should do.
Can I break a 25 mg Zoloft in half?
Yes, you can break a 25 mg zoloft in half when you have to take 12.5 mg zoloft, as the lowest strength of zoloft in the market is 25 mg. It is not recommended to split your 100 mg zoloft to make 50 mg. You can simply buy the 50 mg instead of doing so.
Can I take half my Zoloft in the morning and half at night?
Zoloft is supposed to be taken once daily, as directed by your healthcare provider. The half life of the drug is 24 hours, so it is best to take your daily dose at one time rather than splitting it which might cause an imbalance in drug plasma concentration.
Can you take sertraline every other day?
Sertraline is supposed to be taken every other day. Antidepressants take time to start making changes in your system, usually 3 to 4 weeks. This time duration varies from person to person. Some people begin to notice effects earlier than the others. Make sure you take it every other day and don’t stop your treatment halfway.
How do I wean off 50mg of Zoloft?
In practice, the dose is simply reduced to 25 mg, which is considered the final dose before withdrawing the med. This dose is continued for a week or two and then it is stopped gradually. As 50mg is a low-dose itself, the taper schedule is not so typical.
In this way, your receptors don’t go crazy in the absence of serotonin. It’s not safe to say that this way, you will not experience any withdrawal symptoms, but this way, they’ll be much less intense. Such symptoms include:
- Excess sweating/night sweats
- Disturbed sleep, insomnia, nightmares
- Dizziness or vertigo
- You might feel something called brain zaps, which feels like a shock firing in your brain
- Heightened anxiety and nervousness
- Mood swings
- US Food and Drug Administration – Best Practices for Tablet Splitting https://www.fda.gov/drugs/ensuring-safe-use-medicine/best-practices-tablet-splitting
- Welmoed E E Meijer et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2002 – Adverse events in users of sertraline: results from an observational study in psychiatric practice in The Netherlands. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12512241/
- G MacQueen et al. CNS Drug Rev. Spring 2001 – The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sertraline: its profile and use in psychiatric disorders https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11420570/
- D Murdoch et al. Drugs. 1992 – Sertraline. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic potential in depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1281075/
- A L McRae et al. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2001 – Review of sertraline and its clinical applications in psychiatric disorders https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11336629/
- Singh HK, Saadabadi A. – Sertraline https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547689/
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