How Do I Identify Pills by Description

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With thousands of medications on the market, it's difficult to identify a pill without assistance. There are several tools available on the web that allow you to identify pills by entering how many numbers or letters appear on the pill, shape, size and color. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also provides a resource to assist with identifying medications. Here's a guide to identifying pills by description.

  • Check out Drugs.com (see Resources). This is a free resource that allows you to identify pills by description. You can enter information about the pill (shape, color, size), and the tool searches over 3,000 prescription drugs to help identify the pill.

  • Enter your pill's description at WebMd (see Resources). WebMd's tool allows you to enter decription information about your pill including how many letters appear on the pill, size, shape and color. It then searches an extensive database to produce the name of the medication.

  • Enter the imprint, color and shape of your pill at RX List (see Resources), an online medication database. After entering this information, it will produce the name of the medication based on the information you entered.

  • Contact the Food and Drug Administration. When trying to identify a pill by description, you can also send an email with the pill's size, shape, color and letters on the pill to druginfo@cder.fda.gov.

  • Take the pill to your local pharmacy. If you want to be positive of the identification of a pill, take it to your local pharmacy. They will examine the medication, and give you the exact name of the medication.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a couple different tools and compare the results. This will assist in double checking that you've made the correct identification.
  • Even if you think you've correctly identified the pill, never consume it without talking with your doctor.

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