How to Identify Drugs – Tablets, Pills or Capsules

Maybe you discovered a tablet on the floor and you aren’t sure what it is. Or you’ve simply picked up your new prescription at the pharmacist and you want to verify it’s the right drug. There are some basic methods to recognize tablets, capsules, and pills.

How to Identify Drugs

Unless the drug is an excellent fake, it’s a really straightforward procedure to make the recognition. By law, every pill, tablet or capsule approved by the FDA must be unique-looking, particularly to make recognition simple.

Trouble: Easy

Time Required: 2 minutes

What You Need:

  • A computer and access to the Internet.
  • The capsule, tablet or pill you are aiming to determine.

Here’s How:

  1. A pill’s design is a combination of:

  • The shape.
  • The pattern (two-toned, banded, speckled or others).
  • The color( s).
  • Identifiers or imprints include numbers, names and letters, and sometimes a logo.capsules

             2. To recognize the pill, use this tool:

  • RxList Pill Identifier.

Start by inputting simply the recognizing imprint, since you might require no more than that.

3. Examples of how this works using the picture at the top of the page and either of the identifying tools:

  • Top pill: Input KU 118. You’ll find out that it is omeprazole, 20 mg, and is prescribed for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease.).
  • The bottom pill’s identifier is CIP 500. It is recognized as Cipro 500 mg. However, the picture of that tablet looks somewhat different. In this case, consider consulting your pharmacist to be sure you have been given the right drug, which it isn’t really fake.

Health Tips:

  1. If the identifier doesn’t give you a response, try again including the physical description, too.
  2. Having trouble making the identification? It might not be an FDA approved drug. It might be a controlled substance, a fake, or perhaps an alternative remedy.
  3. Still cannot identify the pill? You might want to take it to your pharmacist to ask his/her help. If you do not wish to request for help, then toss it away. Do not risk taking a drug when you don’t know what it is or how it could perhaps harm you.


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