Finding a pill at the bottom of your purse or in your teenager’s bedroom can conjure up all kinds of questions. In addition, knowing how to check a pill for its identity before you take it can put your mind at ease after leaving the pharmacy with your new prescription. Knowing there are several methods that will identify a pill by its markings can help put your mind at ease.
Examine the pill under bright lighting to be sure you are correctly reading the identifying marks, letters and numbers.
Write down any numbers that you see on the unidentified pill. It is easy to mix numbers up if you try to do it from memory, and you could end up misidentifying it.
Check pill identifying sites online, including Pills RX at rxlist.com/pill-identification-tool/article.htm. Type in the shape, color and markings, and it will provide you with the name of the pill, the strength and what it is generally used for. There is often a photograph of the medication provided for you to be sure you have the same thing in your hand.
Take the pill to a pharmacy. Be sure to call ahead and ask when the least busy hours are so you do not have to wait long once you arrive. Ask the pharmacist to identify it for you.
Call poison control and describe the pill and its markings to the counselor over the phone. In most cases, he will be able to identify it for you. In 2010, the U.S. number for poison control was 1-800-222-1222.
Check the pill against photographs in a pill identification book. This can be time consuming but will allow you to visually compare the pill to the picture and figure out what it is.
- pills image by Bradlee Mauer from Fotolia.com