Pharmaceutical counselling about different types of tablet-splitting methods based on the results of weighing tests and mechanical development of splitting devices
The division of tablets and adequate methods of splitting them are a complex problem in all sectors of health care. Although tablet-splitting is often required, this procedure can be difficult for patients.
Four tablets were investigated with different external features (shape, score-line, film-coat and size). The influencing effect of these features and the splitting methods was investigated according to the precision and “weight loss” of splitting techniques. All four types of tablets were halved by four methods: by hand, with a kitchen knife, with an original manufactured splitting device and with a modified tablet splitter based on a self-developed mechanical model. The mechanical parameters (harness and friability) of the products were measured during the study.
The “weight loss” and precision of splitting methods were determined and compared by statistical analysis. On the basis of the results, the external features (geometry), the mechanical parameters of tablets and the mechanical structure of splitting devices can influence the “weight loss” and precision of tablet-splitting. Accordingly, a new decision-making scheme was developed for the selection of splitting methods. In addition, the skills of patients and the specialties of therapy should be considered so that pharmaceutical counselling can be more effective regarding tablet-splitting.