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How do you use WebMD’s Pill Identifier?
Have you found a missing pill in your medicine cupboard? A loved one has mixed up some of their medications by accident? There are many reasons to wonder, “What is the pill?”
The Pill Identifier from WebMD can be used to identify an unidentified medication. It can identify prescription and OTC meds you take by mouth in solid forms, such as tablets or capsules.
The Identifier will tell you the identity of your pill by simply entering some details; The Identifier will show you a list with close matches or select the best match. Each result shows the picture of the pill, brand and generic names, dose (dose), and other information.
The Pill Identifier is only for FDA-approved drugs. It does not identify illegal drugs, dietary supplements, such as most vitamins and herbs, or drugs from other countries.
How can I identify a prescription or OTC medication?
These details can be entered into The Pill Identifier.
- The color of the pill
- Its form
- Its imprint code (the text that is imprinted or carved into it)
The imprint code is the most crucial detail and often the only thing you need to narrow your search to one result. Because people can interpret the color of a pill differently, it might be helpful to remove the color from your search.
These details will help your pharmacist identify the pill. A pharmacist may also examine the size and coating of the pill, as well as look for lines on the pill called scores.
What does the number or letter on a pill mean?
You will see the numbers, letters or other text on a pill as its “imprint code”, a feature that allows you to identify it. FDA requires that all OTC and prescription drugs tablets and capsules have an imprint. This code and the pill’s shape, size, and color help you distinguish it from other drugs.
The imprint code for a pill can contain any number or letter and any combination of numbers, letters, marks, symbols, and marks. It could include words, the name of the drugmaker, or other details. The FDA stores the imprint code of a pill once a drugmaker has submitted it to them. This database is accessible to healthcare professionals.
According to the FDA, drugmakers should include a number or a letter in the drug’s imprint codes. These digits are more useful than just a logo or symbol and can help identify the pill when every second counts; identifying a pill quickly can save someone’s life during an emergency such as an accidental overdose, drug poisoning, or other medical situation.
The FDA exempts certain approved drugs from the requirement for an imprint. The FDA considers making exemptions because of the following:
- An imprint is impossible due to the physical properties of the pill.
- In a controlled setting such as a doctor’s clinic, health workers administer the pill to patients.
- Patients shouldn’t take the drug on their own.
How do you find a pill imprint code?
The code is located on the side of the pill. You should check the pill’s front and back for imprint codes; You can use the Pill Identifier for both the front and back of a pill to search.
Why do some pills containing the same drug have different imprints?
Different imprint codes can be used to distinguish between the drug version from one company. Sometimes, drug companies make the same type of medicine. It might be made in different strengths or with different inactive ingredients.
You can also distinguish between different imprint codes that allow you to identify higher or lower doses of the drug manufactured by one company.
Sometimes, multiple generic companies purchase the drug from the same manufacturer but put their packaging on it. The main ingredient and strength will remain the same.
Are Different Drugs able to Have the Same Imprint?
Although a pill can bear the same imprint, each drug’s overall appearance — that is, the combination of its size, shape, and color — must be different from all others. This allows each drug to be identified correctly. You can tell the difference between pills by looking at their combination of physical characteristics.
You should ensure you correctly read the Pill Identifier imprint if you don’t find a match. If you read it wrongly, a Z might appear like an N. You can also try “6” or “9” in different combinations. To confirm that the pills in your hand match the images in the Pill Identifier results, you should always compare them.
What happens if a Pill Does Not Have an Imprint?
There may be several reasons why a pill does not have an imprint.
One is the possibility that a pill’s code could become lost over time.
The FDA might not approve the drug if this is not the case. An unprintable pill could be:
- Illegal drugs
- Take medication from a country other than your home
Nonetheless, FDA-approved drugs can be exempted from the agency’s imprint codes rule.
Why do some tablets have a line in the middle?
Some tablets have a small notch on the tablet’s surface. This notch is known as a “score.” It indicates where you can cut or split a tablet. Some tablets only have one score mark. Some tablets have more than one score mark. Some tablets have no score marks, making them unsafe to cut.
Splitting a tablet should only be done if your doctor or pharmacist tells you. You might be asked to split the pills to adjust your medication’s dose. They might also recommend it to save money, as certain double-strength pills cost approximately the same as lower-dose tablets.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor if they recommend splitting your tablets. This can ensure that you receive the right dose. A tablet splitter may not be the best tool for the job because certain pills are different in size and shape. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor first.
Split the tablet you are about to take. You shouldn’t chop them all at once as heat, humidity, or moisture could cause damage to split tablets if they are stored in a closed container.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you can split a new medication brand. You might find splitting unsafe because of how the tablet was made.
Who can I call to identify a pill?
Your pharmacist is the best person to contact if you have mixed your pills. Your pharmacist should be able to look up your pills by their color, shape, and imprint code. They can also access your medication records.
Call 911 if you suspect someone has taken an overdose or been poisoned accidentally by an unknown drug. You can also contact your local poison control center at 800-222-1222.
It would be best if you did not take any pills you find lying around or have not been prescribed for you. It is impossible to know what they have come in contact with or how they were stored.
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