How to Identify Medication

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How to Identify Medication

From time to time, you may come across a pill that you don’t recognize. Perhaps you found it on the floor in your kitchen or there’s been a spillage in your medicine cupboard. No matter why you have an unidentified pill, there are some relatively simple methods to find out what it is.

Pills can be very dangerous if they are taken by the wrong person. This is why it’s important that they are identified. The good news is, it’s relatively easy to work out exactly what a pill is.

A Pill’s Uniqueness

Every pill is unique, which makes identifying it very easy. By law, every single pill, capsule, or tablet must look different from all of the others. This is why pills, capsules, and tablets are designed differently.

The design is typically comprised of the:

  • Shape
  • Pattern
  • Color

In addition to this, every pill will also have a unique identifier imprinted on it. This identifier typically contains a combination of letters and numbers. Alternatively, it can include the name of the drug.

Use a Pill Identifier

These days, it’s relatively easy for you to identify pills. This is thanks to the sheer number of pill identifiers found online. Please make sure that you always use a website that is FDA-approved. This is to ensure that the information you receive is always accurate.

Using a pill identifier is one of the easiest ways to identify a pill. Scientists tend to use other methods such as X-Ray Diffraction. However, if you’re not identifying pills as part of your job, a pill identifier should be sufficient.

Most pill identifiers will ask you to input at least three things:

  • The imprint
  • The color
  • The shape

Once you have entered the above details, you will be shown a range of tablets, capsules, or pills. Chances are, the medication that you have found will be one of the ones shown. If the pill isn’t shown, it may be because the pill has multiple colors. Input the other color and see what the pill identifier comes up with.

Unable to Identify the Pill?

If you are still unable to identify the pill, it may not be FDA-approved. In other words, it could be a counterfeit pill. Pills such as these can be very dangerous as there’s no way of knowing what they contain.

You could always ask your pharmacist what the pill is. They may be able to identify it for you. If you cannot or do not want to do this, the pill will need to be disposed of.

Please do not throw the pill in the trash as it could be harmful to another human or an animal. Take the pill to a US Drug Enforcement Administration collection site. Sites such as these are found all over the country and they can dispose of the pill safely.

Please do not take the pill if you do not know what it is. They could be very harmful to you. Stay safe and dispose of it correctly.

Read More: Easy ways to arrange medication for older adults