The Washington Post

Hints From Heloise: Guidelines for splitting

Dear Readers: Millions of people take medication daily, but some are skipping their medication, or they try to SPLIT PILLS to save money. This may seem like a good idea, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has some guidelines to follow before splitting any of your pills:

* Not all pills are safe to split. Time-released drugs, capsules and pills coated to protect your stomach should NEVER be split.

* NEVER split pills with a knife. Use a pill splitter. You can buy one for very little money. Some tablets are hard to split because of their shape or size, and can end up crumbling.

* It is difficult to split a tablet, because there is no guarantee that the medication amounts will be equal.

* Pills can only be split safely in half; never split them into any smaller portions, such as thirds or more.

* Some pills may start to break down and deteriorate if left split for too long before taking. So keep this in mind if you want to split a bunch ahead of time.

Please talk to your doctor or health-care expert to advise you if splitting pills is safe, and about how to do so. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Regarding your letter to readers about home safety while on vacation, I would like to add the following: Check with your bank for its policy on forwarding mail. Mine does not due to security reasons, but I was not aware of this.

Also, despite leaving a forwarding address with the post office, I unfortunately didn’t receive all of my mail. I suggest calling companies and giving them your temporary address. -- Sally in Pennsylvania


Dear Heloise: When disposing of old credit cards, after cutting up, put part in the recycle bin and part in the garbage. This way, if anyone finds it, he or she will not have a complete number. -- Marilyn F., via e-mail

Good point, Marilyn. But if you have cut it up enough, it would be very difficult for someone to put it back together. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We get e-mails in font size 6 or 8, and these are hard to read without a magnifying glass. Remind your readers that e-mails, to be most easily read, should be in font size 12 or larger, and in an easy-to-read lettering.

If you want your messages read, make them as readable as possible. -- Robert, via e-mail

When the e-mail comes in, you can highlight it and increase the font size, however BIG you want. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Some pharmacy labels peel off relatively easily. However, the “mail order”-type labels are on permanently. I’ve found that using a fingernail emery board to “sand” off the personal information from the label before throwing the container away works very well. -- Les in Omaha

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate

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