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Pharmacy/ok or not ok to open/crush


I may have to take 'Prevpak' (Lansoprazole, clarithromycin, and amoxicillin) to get rid of a stomach infection (H. Pylori). I have trouble swallowing pills, but think I can take the Lansoprazole. But I see different instructions online for the other two. Some say it's ok to open the amoxicillin capsule to sprinkle on food, as long as it's not extended release and other say don't open. Same with Clarithromycin tablet...some say not to crush it and others say it's ok. Please clarify, thanks.


There is no particular problem with crushing amoxicillin or clarithromycin, but I can't guarantee the taste will be very palatable.

Rather than sprinkle drugs onto food (which risks not all of the dose being taken), you could try to take the powdered drugs with a strongly flavoured drink such as blackcurrant or pineapple juice. Try to swallow quickly with a little liquid, then have larger volumes to remove any after-taste.

I hope this helps.


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Nigel Simmons


I am happy to answer general questions on medicines and hospital care. If possible, please use approved / chemical names rather than brands which are not internationally recognised. Like all health professionals I am bound by a duty of care which prevents me giving detailed information about medication or treatment of people other than the questioner. I will endeavour to help wherever possible or point towards more appropriate advice. If however your question crosses too far into patient confidentiality, I hope you will understand why I cannot answer your question. Consider.. would you want me to discuss your care with a friend or relative without your knowledge?


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