Pill Identifier – Find Pills by Color, Shape, Imprint & more
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Have you come across a stray medication in your bathroom cabinet?
Do you have a family member who accidentally muddled up a few of their medications? There are a lot of scenarios in which you could find yourself wondering, “What kind of medicine is this?”
Pill Identifier on WebMD is a tool that can assist you in giving a name to an unidentified drug. It defines prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications that are taken by mouth in solid forms, such as tablets and capsules, and can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription.
You just need to provide a few fundamental characteristics about the pill, and the Identifier will let you know what it could be. You will be presented with a list of matches that are quite near, or it will single out an exact possible match. Each search result features an image of the pill, along with its brand and generic names, as well as its dosage and other information.
Only pharmaceuticals that have been approved by the FDA will be recognised by the Pill Identifier. Dietary supplements (including the majority of vitamins and herbals), illegal drugs, and drugs imported from outside the United States are not identified by this test.
How Can I Tell the Difference Between an Over-the-Counter and a Prescription Medication?
You have the option of entering any one or more of the following information into The Pill Identifier:
The hue of the tablet
The form it took
Its imprint code (the text imprinted on or carved into the pill)
The imprint code is the most essential piece of information, and in many cases, it’s the only piece of data you’ll require to zero in on a single result when you conduct your search. Because different people will have different interpretations of the colour of a pill, you could find it useful to eliminate the colour from your search and just input the imprint code, with or without the shape. This could be helpful in certain situations.
Your pharmacist can use the same characteristics to identify a pill with more accuracy. The pharmacist may also examine the size and coating of the tablet, in addition to looking for line-like markings on it that are referred to as scores.
What Do the Numbers and Letters Mean That Are Printed on a Pill?
The sequence of numbers, letters, or other characters that you see printed on a pill is referred to as its “imprint code,” which is a characteristic that enables you to recognise it. Tablets and capsules containing over-the-counter and prescription medications are required by the FDA to have an imprint. This code, in addition to the pill’s size, colour, and shape, enables you to differentiate it from other drugs.
The imprint code of a pill can be a single letter or number, or it can be a collection of characters, numbers, markings, or symbols. It can also be any combination of these things. Words, the name of the drug manufacturer, or other specifics could be included. When a drug manufacturer sends the imprint code of a pill to the FDA, the agency places it in a database that only those working in the medical field are authorised to view.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urges pharmaceutical companies to include a letter or a number in the imprint code of their products. The FDA claims that these digits make it easier for medical professionals to identify a pill than just a symbol or a logo alone. When time is of the essence in a medical emergency, such as an accidental overdose or drug poisoning, having the ability to swiftly identify a pill can make the difference between life and death for a patient.
However, the FDA does not mandate the use of imprints for some of the pharmaceuticals that it has approved. It looks into the possibility of making exemptions for causes such as:
Because of the characteristics of the pill itself, making an imprint is difficult.
Within a regulated healthcare environment, such as a doctor’s office, healthcare professionals provide the pill to patients.
It is not appropriate for a patient to administer the medication to themselves on their own.
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How Can You Locate the Imprint Code on a Pill?
You can discover the code printed right on the capsule itself. It is important to examine both the front and the back of the medication because some imprint codes are located on both sides. You are able to input the code from both the front and the back of a pill into the Pill Identifier tool if you are using it to look up a pill that has a code printed on both sides of the pill.
Why do some pills of the same medication have different imprints than others if they contain the same active ingredient?
You can distinguish the version of medicine manufactured by one manufacturer from that manufactured by another by looking at the imprint code. There are times when different pharmaceutical companies produce the same drug. It’s possible that they manufacture it in varying concentrations or with a variety of inert substances.
It is possible to differentiate between higher and lower doses of a medication that is manufactured by the same business by using distinct imprint codes.
Additionally, there are situations when many generic businesses buy the drug from the original manufacturer but then package it in their own unique way. However, the active component of the tablet as well as its potency will remain the same.
Is It Possible for Different Drugs to Share the Same Imprint?
Pills can have the same imprint, but each drug’s entire appearance—including its size, shape, colour, and imprint—needs to be distinguishable from the appearances of all other drugs. This can be accomplished by carefully designing each drug. In this way, it will be possible to correctly identify each one. For instance, the imprint code “N” is found on a few distinct pills, but you can differentiate between them because of the unique combination of the characteristics that each possesses.
Check that you are correctly interpreting the imprint on the pill if you are unable to locate a match using the Pill Identifier. If you were to read the letter “Z” from an improper perspective, for instance, you might confuse it with the letter “N.” The same is true for the numbers “6” and “9.” Alternately, you might try alternative permutations of characters that share a similar appearance, such as the numbers “1,” “I” (capital I), and “l.” (lower case L). Even if the Pill Identifier only provides one result, you should always compare the pill you have in your hand with the image that appears in the results to ensure that the two pills are the same.
What Occurs If a Pill Does Not Have an Imprint?
There are a few possible explanations for why a pill does not have an impression on it.
To begin, it’s possible that the imprint code on a pill can become less legible with time.
In the event that this did not occur, it is possible that the pill in question is not an FDA-approved medication. A tablet that does not have an imprint code may be a:
Vitamin Supplement Illegal drug
Medication that has been imported from another country
Despite this, the FDA does make exceptions for the imprint code requirement for certain of the pharmaceuticals it has approved.
What is the Function of the Line That Appears in the Middle of Some Tablets?
On the top surface of some tablets is a little groove or notch that has been carved out. The notched area is referred to as a “score.” It will show you where on a tablet you can split it or cut it. On certain tablets is a single score mark. Others have more than one available to them. Because certain pills do not have any score marks, it is possible that cutting them could be hazardous.
If your pharmacist or doctor tells you to split a tablet and explains how to do so, you should only ever do so. It is possible that they will instruct you to break your pills in order to adjust the dosage of your prescription. Or, they might suggest it as a way to help you save money, seeing as how certain double-strength tablets cost around the same as lower-dose versions of the same medication.
If your physician or pharmacist instructs you to divide your pills, you should inquire as to whether you should do it with a device known as a “tablet splitter” or a “pill cutter.” It can assist you in ensuring that you receive the appropriate dosage. Despite this, there is no assurance that a tablet splitter will be the appropriate instrument for the task, as certain tablets have a particularly unusual size or form. Make sure you check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist first.
Don’t forget to break the tablet in half before taking it. You shouldn’t cut all of them at once because factors such as heat, humidity, and moisture can harm the split pills that you store.
If you start taking a different brand of the same drug and want to know if it is safe to split the new tablet, ask your doctor or the pharmacist for advice. It is possible that it was manufactured differently from your previous brand, and if that is the case, there is a possibility that it should not be split.
Whom Should I Contact in Order to Identify a Pill?
Calling your pharmacy for assistance is your best bet if you’ve jumbled up your pills and now need to figure out which ones go where. They should be able to look up the tablets using the colour, shape, and imprint code associated with each pill. They also have access to the records of your medications in order to better assist you.
In the event that you believe someone has taken an overdose or has accidentally poisoned themselves with an unknown drug, you should phone 911 or get in touch with your local poison centre through a toll-free hotline by dialling 800-222-1222.
Even if you are able to recognise the pills, it is strongly recommended that you do not consume any medicines that you discover lying around or that have not been prescribed to you. You have no way of knowing what else they have come into touch with, if they have been tampered with, or if they have been stored appropriately. You also have no means of knowing what else they have come into contact with. See our page on how to properly dispose of prescription medicines for more information, if necessary.
Examine the Sources to Find Out Which Prescription Drugs Are Most Frequently Misused
The National Institute on Drug Abuse identifies the following three categories of prescription medications as the most commonly abused types of pharmaceuticals: Opioids are drugs that are used to treat pain. Medications that depress the central nervous system (CNS), including benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin), are often prescribed to patients suffering from anxiety and sleep difficulties. Stimulants, such as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall) or methylphenidate (Concerta, Daytrana, Methylin, Ritalin), are prescribed to patients suffering from attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder).