How can I identify a pill?
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Q:

How can I identify a pill?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Trisha Torrey for About.com, pills can be identified by their shape, pattern, color and text imprint. Websites such as RxList.com and Drugs.com offer online pill identification tools where users enter the description of the pill and the website returns the best matching results.

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Full Answer

Torrey adds that the U.S. Federal Drug Administration requires each approved pill or tablet to have a unique look to simplify its identification. Users should search for the text imprint first, and try adding the shape and color if needed. If the pill does not have any imprint, it could be of foreign origin, a counterfeit, an alternative medicine or an illicit drug. Users should avoid taking unidentified pills for risk of adverse effects from an unknown substance.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can you identify a pill by the imprint code?

    A:

    The imprint code is one of the physical characteristics that a person can use to identify a pill, states the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This is because the Food and Drug Administration requires all over-the-counter and prescription drugs in the United States to have this imprint, explains Drugs.com.

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  • Q:

    How do you identify a pill imprint code?

    A:

    Several websites have pill imprint code identifiers, such as WebMD, RxList and Drugs.com, that allow patients to input the code into a customized search engine. Users need an imprint code, color and shape of the pill. For more general results in searches, only the imprint code is needed. For more specific results, users need as much information as possible including color and shape.

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  • Q:

    How do you identify a pill by its imprints?

    A:

    To identify a pill, a patient can enter the imprinted letters or numbers into a pill identifier, such as the one at Drugs.com. The Food and Drug Administration requires all prescription and over-the-counter medications in the United States to have imprints to aid identification.

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  • Q:

    How can you identify particular types of pill online?

    A:

    Online websites such as WebMD and Drugs.com offer pill identification tools to identify specific pills. To use the identification tool, users input the color, imprint and shape of the pill. Alternatively, users may enter brand names to search for specific pills.

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