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Can You Split Cialis 20mg Tablets With A Pill Splitter?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses why Cialis tablets are not recommended to be cut or split.

Question

Can I split my 20mg generic Cialis tablets with a pill splitter? Are they enteric coated or time-released?

Asked by John On Sep 21, 2019

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Sep 21, 2019
Cialis Packaging

Answer

Cialis (tadalafil) is an interesting drug when it comes to whether or not it can safely be split.

It is neither enteric coated nor is it a time-release formulation, two attributes which, in most cases, means a drug should not be cut, split or chewed.

Splitting an enteric-coated tablet destroys the coating, which is there to protect it from dissolving in the stomach. Enteric coatings generally make a drug better tolerated, especially when it comes to gastrointestinal side effects.

Enteric coated aspirin, for example, is often better tolerated than non-enteric coated products.

Splitting a time-release drug is also something that shouldn't be done, since doing so will destroy the time-release mechanism, causing the entire drug to be delivered at once.

This can greatly increase the risk of overdose and associated side effects.

As mentioned, however, Cialis is not enteric-coated or time release, but, interestingly enough, is not recommended to be split. The prescribing information for the drug states this explicitly:

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Do not split CIALIS tablets; entire dose should be taken.
Cialis Prescribing Information

We wrote an article on this subject fairly recently, which can be found here:

To summarize what that article says, there are a few reasons why Cialis isn't recommended to be split/cut, including:

  • The tablet is 'film-coated'
  • The tablet is an irregular almond shape

Splitting Cialis with a pill-splitter will ruin the film coating and, due to the shape of the tablet, it would be quite difficult to get an even cut.

There are some sources and health care professionals that do recommend splitting the tablets for their patients as a potential cost saving measure, but just keep in mind the manufacturer doesn't recommend it.

Be sure to read the article I linked above that goes into great detail regarding the issues of splitting Cialis and let us know if you have any more questions about it!


Summary

  • The manufacturer of Cialis states that the tablets cannot be split, cut or crushed. They must be dosed 'whole'.

  • References
    1. Cialis Prescribing Information. Lilly
    2. Oral Dosage Forms That Should Not Be Crushed. ISMP
    3. Which drug for erectile dysfunction? Harvard Health

    About the Pharmacist

    Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

    Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

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