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Pill Identifier: Why and How to Identify Your Medication

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   Pharmacists and other health care professionals are diligent about ensuring that patients receive the correct medication. However, they are human, and once in a while they make mistakes. The doctor may prescribe the wrong dose or the wrong medication. Pharmacy staff may misinterpret the prescription or the wrong medication may be dispensed. There are several checks and balances to minimize medication errors, but sometimes the checks and balances fail. Medication errors can cause serious consequences.

What should you, the prudent consumer do to protect yourself? You should make sure that you have the correct medication. Before the Internet age, pill identification was accomplished by calling a pharmacy or using pill identification books at the local library or bookstore. The Internet has made it possible for anyone to use pill identifiers (pill finder), such as the Drug Index Online Pill Identifier, to ensure that they have the correct medication. You can identify drugs by imprint, color, shape, and brand or generic name. If you do not find a match, you should call your pharmacist. Some generic drugs are manufactured by several manufacturers, and pill identification databases may not have images of all the generic versions.

For pill identifiers to be valuable, you have to know the medication and strength you should have received. Therefore, start by understanding your condition and the medication and dose your doctor has prescribed for you. Using pill identifiers and knowing what medications your doctor has prescribed will prevent you from taking the wrong medication. Pharmacists are no longer the last line of defense against medication errors; consumers are.

Find a picture of your pill using the RxList Pill Identifier Tool. We've also provided Pill Identifier examples of commonly abused drugs and popular medications.

Below is a list of commonly searched medications, click on a link to read patient information on this drug, see pictures of the different pills prescribed, understand the potential side effects, how to take the medication, and what to do if you miss a dose.

REFERENCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Recent Drug Updates at DrugIndexOnline:





Alendronate sodium Alendronate sodium
Generic name: Alendronate sodium Brand names: Fosamax Why is Alendronate sodium prescribed? Fosamax is prescribed for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease, in postmenopausal women. It is also used to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis, and is prescribed more...

Alglucerase Alglucerase
Generic Name: Alglucerase (al-GLOO-ser-ase) Brand Name: CeredaseAlglucerase is used for:Treating type I Gaucher disease, an inherited metabolic disorder caused by lack of an enzyme in the body called glucocerebrosidase. Alglucerase is an enzyme. It works by replacing a missing enzyme, which re more...

Excedrin Tension Headache Excedrin Tension Headache
Generic Name: acetaminophen and caffeine (a see tah MIH no fen and CAH feen) Brand Names: Excedrin Quick Tab Peppermint, Excedrin Quick Tab Spearmint, Excedrin Tension Headache What is Excedrin Tension Headache (acetaminophen and caffeine)? Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever r more...

Lescol XL Lescol XL
Generic Name: fluvastatin (FLOO va sta tin) Brand Names: Lescol, Lescol XL What is Lescol XL (fluvastatin)? Fluvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering medication that blocks the production of cholesterol (a type of fat) in the body. Fluvastatin reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholester more...

Lupron Depot 11.25 mg Suspension Lupron Depot 11.25 mg Suspension
Generic Name: Leuprolide Depot Suspension (11.25 mg) (loo-PRO-lide) Brand Name: Lupron Depot 11.25 mgLupron Depot 11.25 mg Suspension is used for:Primarily managing endometriosis, including pain relief and decreasing the size of lesions. It is used with iron therapy to improve anemia before surg more...

Pancrease Pancrease
Generic Name: pancrelipase (oral) (pan kree LYE pace) Brand Names: Cotazym, Cotazym-S, Creon 10, Creon 20, Creon 5, Ilozyme, Ku-Zyme, Pancrease, Pancrease MT 10, Pancrease MT 16, Pancrease MT 20, Pancrease MT 4, Pancron D/R, Ultrase, Ultrase MT 12, Ultrase MT 18, Ultrase MT 20, Viokase, Z more...

Prempro Prempro
Some commonly used brand names are: In the U.S.— Premphase 1 Prempro 2 In Canada— Premplus 2 Note: For quick reference, the following estrogens are numbered to match the corresponding brand names. This information applies to the following medicines 1. Conjugated Estro more...

Prostin VR Pediatric Prostin VR Pediatric
Generic Name: alprostadil Dosage Form: Injection, usp 500 micrograms per mL Warning Apnea is experienced by about 10 to 12% of neonates with congenital heart defects treated with Prostin VR Pediatric Sterile Solution. Apnea is most often seen in neonates weighing less than 2 kg at birth and us more...