What is a Tablet Crusher?

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  • Written By: T. Broderick
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2019
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A tablet crusher, also known as a pill crusher, is an easy to use tool that breaks down oral prescription medication into a fine powder. Ingesting the medication becomes much easier for those who have problems swallowing. A pill crusher is also a valuable tool for giving medication to children or pets. Though tablet crushers are readily available in the pharmacy section of most major supermarkets, one can achieve the same result at home if the need should arise.

A tablet crusher will generally be made out of lightweight plastic and resemble a small pepper mill. After placing the medication inside the grinder, twisting motions turn the pill into powder. The medication is then ready to be put into any number of foods or beverages. Crushing a pill has no effect on the medication's potency. A tablet crusher should not be used when the medication is contained in a gelcap.

Pills crushers are an ideal tool for preparing medication for the elderly or other patients who have difficulty swallowing. The same is true for giving medication to children who do not want to swallow pills. As animals such as pets have more sensitive noses than humans, they are more likely to notice and avoid oral medication. Crushing the pill before mixing it in with food will give the animal no choice but to take medication. Always wash a tablet crusher and allow it to dry before using it for new medication.


When buying a tablet crusher, it is important to consider the type of medication it will crush. Some tablet crushers are only appropriate for smaller tablets. Larger tablets will require a person to break it in half before a crusher will do an adequate job.

If one needs to crush medication but does not have access to a tablet crusher, the same effect can be achieved using metal tableware. Place the pill into the deepest part of a large metal spoon. Press down on the pill with the convex side of a second spoon. After the pill initially breaks under pressure, grind it by slightly moving the top spoon back and forth. Continue to do so until the medication is the consistency of powdered sugar.


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