Not all medication can be crushed for consumption

Crushing pills for easy consumption can be dangerous as it can alter the absorption and stability of the medication, resulting in a higher risk of gastric irritation. At times, crushing medication inappropriately can even lead to hazardous consequences.

The Pharmacy Department from SingHealth Community Hospitals (SCH), a member of the SingHealth group, explains more.

How to identify medication that should not be crushed

1. Medication name that contains acronyms* such as:

  • SR: Sustained release

  • CR: Controlled release

  • MR: Modified release

  • XR: Extended release

  • PR: Prolonged release

  • LA: Long acting

  • EC: Enteric coated

  • HBS: Hemodynamically balance system

       * This list is not exhaustive 

2. Medication that is in the form of a capsule / granule / pellet

3. Medication that is a hazardous drug

4. Medication that has the cautionary label "Swallow whole, do not crush"

Common medication that should not be crushed

Alfuzosin XL

Tamsulosin PR
Sodium chloride SR
Sodium valporate chrono
Madopar HBS

Medication tips

1. Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you (or the patient) have swallowing issues.

2. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist first whether it is safe to cut your medication in half.

Ref: L20

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