Yes and no. Some medications can be cut or crushed, but some should be given whole. This is due to specific formulations of medications and how they work in the body. Most of the no-crush medications are sustained release, extended release, or enteric coated. The reason these medications can’t be crushed or chewed is because the tablet is formulated to release a specific amount of medication over a certain time period. Cutting or crushing the tablet usually results in the medication not being released into the body properly. Some medications shouldn’t be crushed or chewed because they have an unpleasant taste.
If you feel like your child won’t be able to swallow their medication whole, ask the pharmacist if it can be chewed or cut, or talk to your child’s doctor about prescribing a liquid formulation.
-Whitney Pittman, clinical pharmacy resident at CHOC Children’s