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Can you safely split capsules?
  1. #1
    jack_isidore is offline New Member
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    Default Can you safely split capsules?

    I'll try to keep this short:

    I have been diagnosed with ADD since early teens, and as an adult took Provigil as treatment. It worked great. This year my insurance is not covering Provigil as it's an off label use so my doctor prescribed me Vyvanse 70mg. I took Provigil because as a teen I never could tolerate Ritalin or Adderall, both would give me shakes, decrease my appetite and generally make me feel very unpleasant.

    I am hoping Vyvanse as a pro-drug will have less of an effect on me, versus Adderall. Only problem is, these 70mg capsules are WAY too high of a dosage (the FDA maximum dosage I believe). Today I felt way too hyped up, like I had done a lot of licit drugs. Probably the worst part is that it is putting my smoking cessation (3 weeks) in jeopardy as it is triggering intense cravings. I'm not surprised at my reaction, but instead of continuing to pay co-pay after co-pay for doctor visits and rx fills, I would like to reduce the dosage myself until I find a good dose. As I understand it, this drug doesn't have any potential adverse side effects from under-dosage.

    So, how do I go about doing this. Are the capsules time release, or are they just gelatin to make it easier to take (or are the two not mutually exclusive). If I'm not worried about the statistical consistency of the pills, that is, I don't mind taking 15 mg one day and 20 the next day, is it safe to split these pills. Whether they are time release or not, can I just buy some empty gelatin capsules and very carefully with a scale, divide the dosage out to be LESS than what was prescribed?

    I'm new to the forum, if I missed a similar post in my search or broke any rules I apologize.

  2. #2
    jack_isidore is offline New Member
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    I should add, I called my pharmicist, who said they aren't sure and suggested calling the pharmaceutical company, as you can imagine said they can't recommend splitting them.

    This is a pro-drug which reacts with the enzymes in my body. My problem is, I don't know where, or how to go about finding capsules with the same dissolving rate. I'm guessing that means I'm at a dead end. Any thoughts?

  3. #3
    Cats Meow is offline Banned
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    Default Vyvanse

    It's amazing that your pharmacist couldn't answer your question. Yes Vyvanse can be opened up and dissolved in water, therefore splitting it would not be a problem.
    One good thing worth mentioning about Vyvanse is, this drug cannot be insufflated, should someone try they'll find it ineffective, it will only work via orally administered.

  4. #4
    jack_isidore is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cats Meow View Post
    It's amazing that your pharmacist couldn't answer your question. Yes Vyvanse can be opened up and dissolved in water, therefore splitting it would not be a problem.
    One good thing worth mentioning about Vyvanse is, this drug cannot be insufflated, should someone try they'll find it ineffective, it will only work via orally administered.
    He seemed to think that as a pro-drug, it required the specific capsule material so that it got to the right part of the digestive system to meet with the enzymes it is meant to react with. I suppose it isn't that precise, and it just has to get to my stomach.

    I put 1/4 dosage (17.5mg) into a capsule and took it this morning. It was much closer to my experience with Provigil, although after one day, I think I still prefer the Provigil and will switch back once the patent expires.

    Thanks for the info. I'll be sure to follow up with my doctor and get him to sign off bypassing the capsules altogether.

  5. #5
    PeterRabbit2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack_isidore View Post
    I'll try to keep this short:

    I have been diagnosed with ADD since early teens, and as an adult took Provigil as treatment. It worked great. This year my insurance is not covering Provigil as it's an off label use so my doctor prescribed me Vyvanse 70mg. I took Provigil because as a teen I never could tolerate Ritalin or Adderall, both would give me shakes, decrease my appetite and generally make me feel very unpleasant.

    I am hoping Vyvanse as a pro-drug will have less of an effect on me, versus Adderall. Only problem is, these 70mg capsules are WAY too high of a dosage (the FDA maximum dosage I believe). Today I felt way too hyped up, like I had done a lot of licit drugs. Probably the worst part is that it is putting my smoking cessation (3 weeks) in jeopardy as it is triggering intense cravings. I'm not surprised at my reaction, but instead of continuing to pay co-pay after co-pay for doctor visits and rx fills, I would like to reduce the dosage myself until I find a good dose. As I understand it, this drug doesn't have any potential adverse side effects from under-dosage.

    So, how do I go about doing this. Are the capsules time release, or are they just gelatin to make it easier to take (or are the two not mutually exclusive). If I'm not worried about the statistical consistency of the pills, that is, I don't mind taking 15 mg one day and 20 the next day, is it safe to split these pills. Whether they are time release or not, can I just buy some empty gelatin capsules and very carefully with a scale, divide the dosage out to be LESS than what was prescribed?

    I'm new to the forum, if I missed a similar post in my search or broke any rules I apologize.
    NO, NO and NO! For various reasons. do not try to split capsules. If, however you okay this with your DR. , go right ahead. Catch my drift?
    Last edited by PeterRabbit2; 05-25-2010 at 03:03 PM.
    shybaybe2003 likes this.
    Peter

  6. #6
    jack_isidore is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterRabbit2 View Post
    NO, NO and NO! For various reasons. do not try to split capsules. If, however you okay this with your DR. , go right ahead. Catch my drift?
    What are those various reasons? I've been doing it with no problems at all for several weeks. As best I can tell, the largest danger is that my dosage isn't within normal tolerances, and that one day I may have a higher dosage than another. What is the problem with this if I ultimately stay within the prescribed dosage?

  7. #7
    PeterRabbit2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack_isidore View Post
    What are those various reasons? I've been doing it with no problems at all for several weeks. As best I can tell, the largest danger is that my dosage isn't within normal tolerances, and that one day I may have a higher dosage than another. What is the problem with this if I ultimately stay within the prescribed dosage?

    If you've been doing it to no ill effect, keep on. It's just that sometimes, capsules are designed in such a way as to deliver the medicine a certain way (by re-capsulizing the medicine you could be altering variables such as c-max and c-min and I don't know if AUC applies here.) You sound like an exacting guy and I trust your dosing is accurate. I would just get a Pharmacist's opinion. I'm not quite that yet.

    My answer really is, I DON'T KNOW! But the rule of thumb is, capsules are meant to be kept together.
    Last edited by PeterRabbit2; 05-25-2010 at 03:42 PM.
    Peter

  8. #8
    PeterRabbit2 is offline Senior Member
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    I don't handle the CII drugs, and I couldn't get a straight answer from my boss.

    But, if you've been doing it for awhile now, continue. Maybe the worst that would happen is you'd decrease the time to t-max.

    If the dose feels right, it probably is.
    Peter

  9. #9
    selita is offline New Member
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    Some capsules can't be split and some can. It depends if they are instant release or timed release. If they are instant release (I believe Vyvanse is) you can safely split them. If they are timed release, it depends on if the delay mechanism is in the capsule itself, or the beads in the capsule.

    With stimulants, it's usually in the beads, basically so they can't be easily used illicitly. As long as the capsule isn't needed to delay, you can split them.

    I take Biphentin (timed release methylphenidate) and I found the dose was too high to take every day, and it wore off too early in the day if I took all 30mg in the morning. Since 15mg pills cost about the same as 30mg, it's cheaper to split them.

    Anyway, I did it with caramel. Do this over a plate so the capsule doesn't spill everywhere.

    - Take a few chewy caramels and pinch off some small pieces, about 1/4 to 1/2 the size of the capsules.
    - Wipe the sticky off your hands.
    - Open the capsules, and evenly divide them between the two halves.
    - Hold the two halves upright in your off-hand (or use something to hold one of them), and stuff the ends with caramel. Small pieces for the small end, large pieces for the large end.
    - If you want, dip the end in confectioner's sugar or something to prevent it from sticking.
    - Do a few in advance and store them somewhere cool.

    Caramel will keep for a while and is semi-solid, so it shouldn't damage the beads. I can split 15 caps into 30 with 1 caramel. I considered just rolling the beads into caramel, but I didn't want someone to mistake them for harmless candies, or for them to get stuck together. My doctor OK'd this after consulting her drug manual.

    The only problem is that I eat an entire bag of caramels every time I have to do this.
    Last edited by selita; 06-04-2011 at 03:27 PM.
    meyati and PeterRabbit2 like this.

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