Do not crush extended-release pills

Medication errors can happen in any healthcare setting. According to the CDC, it is estimated that more than 700,000 individuals are seen in hospital emergency departments for adverse drug events each year in the U.S. One area that is prone to completely preventable adverse drug events is the administration of extended release products.


Many doctors prescribe extended-release drugs for elderly patients due to the less-frequent dosing benefits that these medications provide. However, it is crucial that extended-release medications remain intact before administration. In fact, crushing or cutting extended-release products can cause patients to initially receive an overdose of the drug – and to receive an insufficient level of medication to obtain the desired effect during the remainder of the extended-release timeframe.

To help your staff learn about the importance of not crushing extended release products, we've recently created an in-service educational program. If you're interested in having one of our Consultant Pharmacists or Nurse Consultants present this program to your staff, please contact Dawn Gratzke at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..