How Can You Identify Prescription Drugs If You Lost the Bottle?


Quick Answer

To identify unknown prescription drugs, use an online identification tool such as RxList's Pill Identification Tool which identifies over-the-counter, generic and brand-name pills and capsules, according to RxList. The Pill Identifier on Drugs.com also helps identify unknown pills by imprint, shape and color, according to Drugs.com.

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Full Answer

To identify an unknown pill using RxList's Pill Identification Tool, enter the code imprint found on the pill, such as a set of numbers or letters, the color and shape of the pill into the Identification Tool, explains RxList. After clicking Search, the Identification Tool provides a list of pictures for comparison in order to identify the unknown pills. To match the unknown pill to a known one using RxList's Identification tool, properly match the imprint marks. If the Identification Tool does not yield an exact match, an individual must call his doctor or pharmacy to determine the identify of the unknown pill.

All prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and biological drug products must contain an imprint unique to the product, meaning no two pills have the same imprint, states Drugs.com. When entering an imprint into the Pill Identifier, enter the letters and numbers from both sides of the pill, including adding the spaces in between. If the pill does not contain an imprint code, this means it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, indicating the pill may be a vitamin; illicit or foreign drug; or a diet, herbal or energy pill.

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