Can You Cut Or Split Metformin (Immediate Release) In Half?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not metformin (immediate release) can be cut in half.

Question

Can Metformin 500mg immediate release pills be cut in half? This is not the extended release pill. 

Asked by Stephanie On Dec 21, 2017

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Dec 22, 2017

Yes, the immediate release metformin 500mg (and other strengths) can be cut in half without negatively affecting the medication. Cutting medications is often necessary for patients who have difficulty swallowing large tablets or need to take 'half' doses. If this is necessary, it is certainly OK and safe to cut your metformin tablets. 


Most manufactures of metformin tablets do not make the tablet with a 'score' mark (indentation in the middle of the tablet) unfortunately, making it sometimes difficult to successfully cut precisely in half. Due to this, a pill cutter is recommended versus using a knife as designed pill cutters will provide the cleanest cut.


It is important that you take both halves of the medication as soon as possible and not store cut tablets for extended periods of time. Although metformin can be cut as mentioned above, split tablets no longer have a protective outer coating that most intact tablets have. This could make them more susceptible to moisture. Be sure to use split tablets as soon as you can and store the unused half in a moisture resistant container.


Metformin 500 mg is produced by a variety of manufactures including:

  • Apotex
  • Ascend
  • Aurobindo
  • Barr
  • Carlsbad
  • Heritage
  • Major
  • Mylan
  • Par
  • Solco
  • Teva
  • Zydus


All of the immediate release metformin products by these manufactures may be cut or split.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Stacy Holcroft

Stacy Holcroft is retail pharmacist specializing in diabetes, heart disease, and oncology. Up to date with new drugs and research in these fields and others.

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