How To Open A Pill Capsule Without Breaking It?

Capsules hold great significance in the pharmaceutical industry as an important dosage form. The main idea of a capsule refers to enclosing a drug in powder or semisolid form in an odorless easy to swallow tasteless shell in order to protect the API.

Capsules make the drug administration pleasant as it is covered inside the shell thus the bad taste and odor can be avoided and contact with a mouth can be eliminated. But still, there can be patients who can have trouble swallowing a capsule or even a tablet as a whole. So here the purpose of this blog is to discuss how to open a pill capsule without breaking it. Keep reading!

A Pill Capsule

Table of Contents

I.Is It Safe To Break A Pill Capsule?

II.How A Pill Capsule Can Be Taken Apart?

Ⅲ.How A Pill Capsule Can Be Administered After Breaking It Open

Ⅳ.How Do You Break A Soft Gel Capsules?

Ⅴ.What Can Be The Consequences Of Breaking A Capsule Without Care?


Ⅰ.Is It Safe To Break A Pill Capsule?

A Pill Capsule-1

Capsules are dosage forms that are usually meant to be swallowed whole but there can be situations where one needs to open the capsule e.g. where a patient has trouble swallowing the whole capsule due to some reason. So in such cases where its necessary to take the drug out extra measures should be taken to administer the drug without swallowing the shell.

However, some of the medicines can have deleterious effects due to coming in contact with air or hygroscopic environment so consulting a medical or pharmaceutical specialist to be safe.

Ⅱ.How A Pill Capsule Can Be Taken Apart?

A Pill Capsule-2

In situations where there is no other solution than opening a capsule, it can be opened by holding the bottom with one hand while gently removing the upper half with the other hand.  Following precautionary measures should be taken

  • Make sure the environment is completely sterile, or aseptic
  • Use a fume hood and use UV light to clean it prior to using.
  • Use protective equipment like gloves, mask, and gown to avoid contact with the skin.

Ⅲ.How A Pill Capsule Can Be Administered After Breaking It Open

For patients and children where it is required to open the capsule for the dosage administration after consulting with the medical specialist the dose can be:

  • Mixed with food
  • Dissolved in water
  • Dispersed
  • Sprinkling capsules

MixedWith Food

A Pill Capsule-3

Some capsules can be mixed with food. After consultation with your doctor, you can mix the contents with a small quantity of food. For this you can open the capsule carefully and take a teaspoon of soft food like yogurt or jam or a little amount of juice and mix well the drug contents.

DissolvedIn Water

A Pill Capsule-4

Some capsule contents can be dissolved in liquid either water or juice. The mixture can be administered via an oral syringe or spoon.

AdministeringPart Of A Dose By Dispersing Capsules

There can be situations where you will need to give a part of the capsule contents to children as advised by the doctor. In such a case there will be a specific manual or instructions from the medical specialist who will tell you to carefully open the capsule and mix the contents in a certain amount of water. After mixing you will have to administer a specific volume of it to the patient according to the prescribed dose.


A Pill Capsule-5

These types of capsules can be sprayed or sprinkled on food as described on the label of the medicine. You can open the capsule with clean hands and sprinkle the contents on soft food. Such type of capsules can be swallowed whole.

Ⅳ.How Do You Break A Soft Gel Capsules?

A Pill Capsule-6

For opening soft gel capsules take out only the required number of capsule pills one at a time so that they don’t come in contact with air or humid environment for a longer time.

Place the soft gel on your tongue and it will be easy to swallow and dissolve.

Ⅴ.What Can Be The Consequences Of Breaking A Capsule Without Care?

A Pill Capsule-7

Capsules are typically swallowed as a whole and are made so as to be taken as a whole. Anyhow if required necessarily and advised by the doctor the contents can be released in a controlled and contained environment.

If the capsules are opened without proper care and precautions it can have serious consequences. If the capsule contents came in contact with the person who opens it, he can inhale it which can fatal and cancerous. To the patient particularly it can lead to overdosing or underdosing due to immediate release of the drug.


Opening a capsule is not the desired process until and until its necessary. Here we summarized some tips and ways to open a capsule carefully and how it can be administered afterward. Opening a capsule when and where necessary leading to the dose administration alone or mixing it with food items should also be consulted with a medical specialist so that it does not result in fatal consequences. Want out help? Avail of our Free Consultation and Product Quotation by connecting us right now.

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