Q:

How can I identify a pill?

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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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How can I identify a pill?
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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:

    Is there an easy way to identify medications?

    A:

    An online pill identifier tool can be used to identify medications by entering the imprint information found on the pill, as well as searching by the color and shape of the medication, according to Drugs.com. Individuals can obtain information by searching under drug name and national drug code, or NDC.

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  • Q:

    How do you identify an unknown pill?

    A:

    WebMD, Drugs.com and Healthline all operate search engines to identify pills using by a combination of shape, color and imprint. Pills sold in the United States are legally required to be uniquely identifiable unless exempted, according to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.

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    What are some methods for identifying pills?

    A:

    Consumers, poison control centers and medical professionals use several attributes of pills to identify oral medications for sale in the United States, including color, shape, markings, imprint and size, according to Drugs.com. An imprint allows someone to link to an entry for a drug's ingredients, strength, dosage and manufacturer.

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  • Q:

    How can you identify pills with no markings?

    A:

    Healthline.com hosts a pill identifier that allows users to search a database using pill shape and color when a pill is not otherwise labeled. The search returns pictures of pills matching the criteria, which allows users to match their pills by sight. However, a person should never consume drugs without knowledge of what they are taking, and should never use drugs not prescribed to them.

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