Unraveling the Mystery of Pill Names by Number: A Beginner’s Guide

When it comes to medications, it’s not uncommon to come across pill names that are simply a combination of numbers and letters. These alphanumeric codes may seem like a random assortment of characters, but they actually hold important information about the medication itself. In this beginner’s guide, we will unravel the mystery of pill names by number and help you understand what they mean.

Understanding the Basics of Pill Names by Number

Pill names that consist of numbers and letters are commonly known as National Drug Codes (NDC). The NDC is a unique identifier assigned to each medication by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is made up of three segments: the labeler code, product code, and package code.

The labeler code, also known as the manufacturer code, identifies the company or organization responsible for producing or distributing the medication. The product code represents a specific strength, dosage form, or formulation of the drug. Lastly, the package code indicates the type and size of packaging in which the medication is available.

Decoding Pill Names by Number

To better understand how pill names by number work, let’s take an example: 12345-6789-10. In this case, “12345” represents the labeler code, “6789” represents the product code, and “10” represents the package code.

By referring to a comprehensive database or utilizing online resources provided by reputable sources like FDA or pharmaceutical companies themselves, you can decode these numbers to find valuable information about a particular medication. This includes details such as its manufacturer, dosage strength, form (tablet or capsule), packaging size (bottle or blister pack), and much more.

Benefits of Knowing Pill Names by Number

Understanding pill names by number can be immensely beneficial for both healthcare professionals and patients alike. For healthcare professionals such as doctors and pharmacists, knowing how to decode these numbers allows for quick identification and verification of the correct medication. It helps prevent errors or confusion when prescribing or dispensing medications.

On the patient’s side, being able to decipher pill names by number can provide valuable information about the medication they are taking. Patients can cross-check the details with their healthcare provider to ensure they are receiving the correct medication, dosage, and form.


Pill names by number may initially seem perplexing, but with a little knowledge and understanding, you can easily decode these alphanumeric codes. Knowing how to interpret pill names by number empowers both healthcare professionals and patients to make informed decisions regarding medications. By utilizing reliable resources and databases, such as those provided by the FDA or pharmaceutical companies, you can find detailed information about a specific medication based on its NDC. So the next time you come across a pill name consisting of numbers and letters, remember that there is a method behind the mystery.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.