View Full Version : Can I divide the capsules?


jazzper
05-14-05, 06:48 AM
If the 40 mg starting dose is too high, can I divide the dose? If not, what are the side effects likely to be starting out at 40 mg? Guess I'll know soon enough!:D

Jazz

SB_UK
05-14-05, 12:48 PM
I tried it and failed :-)

Powder in the capsules, and almost impossible to divide perfectly, and then to store the half that isn't used intact for future use.

All very annoying given ritalin and dexedrine tablets which I could cut into quarters.

Even more infuriating here in the UK, and maybe in the USA too .. because the 10mg capsules cost the same as all of the larger titre caps.

SB.

exeter
05-14-05, 04:00 PM
Capsules generally don't work well when split, like SB_UK said. Besides his reasons, though, there's another good reason. Most capsules have an extended release mechanism. When you split them, that mechanism doesn't work right. I once read that it was like cutting a radio in half and expecting each half to play music. :P

jazzper
05-14-05, 11:36 PM
I took the 40 mg today and don't think I had any side effects. I was my usual ditsy self, so I didn't notice anything too different. Too early to tell I guess.

Jazz

Ryukenden
08-16-08, 03:35 PM
I'm extremely interested in dividing capsules because a 100mg dose costs the same as a smaller dose, at least in my country (Portugal). I would save a LOT of money by dividing them.
Does Strattera have a sustained realease mechanism? If it really does not have a release mechanism, i was thinking of mixing it with a bottle of water and drinking a divided amount at every time.
Could dividing a higher dose in water work?

amiegrace
08-16-08, 03:45 PM
I would NOT recommend dividing the dose unless you want to burn a hole in your stomach. Yes Strattera is extended release, No, it will not work the same if you take the powder out -- and it is EXTREMELY hard on your stomach. I know it's expensive but I wouldn't do it if I were you.

Ryukenden
08-16-08, 03:58 PM
I've just read this website http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_a_Strattera_capsule_be_opened_and_sprinkled_in _food were people claim to have divided it without any serious problems, if any... Are you sure? Do you know any medical or official website were i can check that for myself? Its really hard for me to pay that much for the medication and if i could possibly easily divide it, it would really make a difference for me...

Grafter
08-16-08, 04:25 PM
Moderator Note:
It is against ADDF policy to recommend altering medication doses, tampering with medication, mixing medications, and anything else. We can talk about our experiences, but that's as far as we go.
If you are having issues, then consult your Dr/psych. They will more than likely be able to recommend a good course of action.

Now that we have that out of the way:

I've been taking Strattera for 4 years. Although I sympathize with those who have difficulty administering the medication to a child not swallowing pills, I just don't see how breaking up the dosage can help. I can't remember where I saw it right now, but I have heard of problems/irritation with the throat & esophagus due to this. edit: Here is a recent thread (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32260&highlight=strattera+throat) here at ADDF about it...

I can assure you that if Lilly can find a way to make it's medications easier to administer they surely will. For the meantime, if they say "Do not open capsule" then I'm not going to.

Also, every person is different. I metabolize very quickly, and can feel the Strat working and fading away. This is unlike those that "hold onto" the effect over time, therefore report they don't feel the effects for a few weeks.

This is also why I've had to add additional meds to my already max dosage of FDA approved 120mg Strat a day. 60 mg is only effective for me for about 5 hours. Then the brain-cloud comes.

amu_d
08-16-08, 05:37 PM
Moderator Note:
It is against ADDF policy to recommend altering medication doses, tampering with medication, mixing medications, and anything else. We can talk about our experiences, but that's as far as we go.
If you are having issues, then consult your Dr/psych. They will more than likely be able to recommend a good course of action.

Now that we have that out of the way:

I've been taking Strattera for 4 years. Although I sympathize with those who have difficulty administering the medication to a child not swallowing pills, I just don't see how breaking up the dosage can help. I can't remember where I saw it right now, but I have heard of problems/irritation with the throat & esophagus due to this. edit: Here is a recent thread (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32260&highlight=strattera+throat) here at ADDF about it...

I can assure you that if Lilly can find a way to make it's medications easier to administer they surely will. For the meantime, if they say "Do not open capsule" then I'm not going to.

Also, every person is different. I metabolize very quickly, and can feel the Strat working and fading away. This is unlike those that "hold onto" the effect over time, therefore report they don't feel the effects for a few weeks.

This is also why I've had to add additional meds to my already max dosage of FDA approved 120mg Strat a day. 60 mg is only effective for me for about 5 hours. Then the brain-cloud comes.

Grafter, this is only for Strattera correct? As far as I'm aware, all other common medications used for ADHD that come in capsules can be opened. Maybe Concerta and Vyvanse can't be opened either, not sure. I know Dexedrine Spansules, Ritalin LA, Adderall XR, Focalin XR can all be opened and used safely.

Can someone confirm this?

Grafter
08-16-08, 05:54 PM
Grafter, this is only for Strattera correct? As far as I'm aware, all other common medications used for ADHD that come in capsules can be opened. Maybe Concerta and Vyvanse can't be opened either, not sure. I know Dexedrine Spansules, Ritalin LA, Adderall XR, Focalin XR can all be opened and used safely.

Can someone confirm this?
I was talking specifically about Strattera. I don't take stims (yet) by choice. I've had problems with addiction in the past.

But I did read that Dex Spansules (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55809) should not be opened, while the tablets seem fine to break apart.

And, my understanding is that Vyvance should not be either. But I could be wrong about this. It's just my understanding from speaking with the Shire rep at the ADDA Conference. Vyvance needs to be activated by some stomach acid and has varying time-release features. Opening would make it difficult to regulate the time-release of the drug.

amu_d
08-16-08, 07:04 PM
I was talking specifically about Strattera. I don't take stims (yet) by choice. I've had problems with addiction in the past.

But I did read that Dex Spansules (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55809) should not be opened, while the tablets seem fine to break apart.

And, my understanding is that Vyvance should not be either. But I could be wrong about this. It's just my understanding from speaking with the Shire rep at the ADDA Conference. Vyvance needs to be activated by some stomach acid and has varying time-release features. Opening would make it difficult to regulate the time-release of the drug.

I just checked and from what I've read Vyvanse should not be opened, while Dexedrine Spansules can be opened.

As for the statement: "Swallow Dexedrine Spansules Sustained-Release Capsules whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing."

I think the above is not relating to actually opening the capsule and placing the beads on yogurt. You can't crush the spansule, but you can still open it up without crushing the beads.

Dr. Kenny mentions this here:
http://www.addadhdblog.com/liquadd-a-new-liquid-medicine-for-add-and-adhd/
And here (read the bottom part):
http://www.addadhdblog.com/strattera-my-son-cant-swallow-the-pill/

HighFunctioning
08-17-08, 11:32 AM
About Strattera:

http://emc.medicines.org.uk/emc/assets/c/html/DisplayDoc.asp?DocumentID=14482

Atomoxetine capsules are not intended to be opened. Atomoxetine is an ocular irritant. In the event of capsules content coming in contact with the eye, the affected eye should be flushed immediately with water, and medical advice obtained. Hands and any potentially contaminated surfaces should be washed as soon as possible.

I'm not sure if there are any other reasons as to why one shouldn't open Strattera capsules.

Vyvanse can be opened and mixed in a glass of water (per the drug information leaflet that comes with it).

Concerta can't be opened because it's not a capsule.

Any spansule/spansule-like medication should be able to be opened, though one shouldn't attempt to divide the dose, unless the medication delivery method was specifically designed to allow this (I'm not sure if there are any).

amiegrace
08-17-08, 05:48 PM
I've read anecdotal reports that stomach irritation can be severe when Strattera is opened. I'm not sure if there's a time release element to Strattera (I hated Strattera anyway, although I know what you mean about the expense, it's horrific).

Time-released Ritalin, for example, is not necessarily harmful if broken in half, but it's not recommended because it is specifically formulated to be released over a longer period of time.

I would also wonder if one would be able to get an evenly divided dose by opening the capsule, and if an alteration in the dividing of doses would be harmful.

I just don't know.