Identification of medications is an integral part of medication safety and compliance. If you’ve lost a pill, forgotten what it’s called, or suspect your loved one might be using something unsafe, then knowing what to look for and how to identify it will be invaluable.
Each pill, tablet or capsule is imprinted with a unique identification number. This could be just letters or numbers or even an array of both.
Color is an integral element of many medications, helping patients remember when to take their pills and protecting light-sensitive drugs.
Patients often select a particular color or shape of medication based on its potential effect or symptom. For instance, soft blue capsules offer peaceful nights’ sleep while dynamic red tablets provide quick-acting acid reflux relief.
Studies have confirmed the link between pill color and drug effectiveness. Some researchers even speculated that color could potentially influence patient adherence to therapy.
Drug companies have recognized this connection and use color to brand their products. As a result, pharmaceuticals have built strong brands with loyal customers that last far past patent expiration dates. Selecting the ideal color and shape for a new drug is an important decision for companies.
Pills come in a range of shapes, such as round, oval, kidney-shaped or bow-tie shaped. Some pills may be lined, two-toned, speckled or have other distinctive visual features to help identify them quickly.
Pharmaceutical drugs can take on different shapes when produced by different companies. For instance, a generic heart medication may appear different than its brand-name equivalent.
Shape of a medication can have an effect on its effects, both psychologically and physically. An energizing pill might have an angular shape to increase mental alertness, while soothing drugs usually have round shapes for maximum relaxation.
These findings raise the question of why pills take on a certain shape. They could be especially pertinent in light of 3D printing pills, which has the potential for creating diverse tablet shapes and achieving precision dissolution rates. Utilizing these insights, designers could create tablets that maximize drug benefit while minimizing adverse reactions on the body.
Drugs contain unique imprint codes which enable the identification of their contents, manufacturer and strength. These can be composed of single letters or numbers as well as any combination thereof and other symbols or marks.
The imprint code is a requirement of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once submitted to them, this data is stored in a database that healthcare professionals can access.
This information is invaluable to those needing to identify medications they may have accidentally taken. Not only does it save lives, but it also ensures the correct medication is given to the patient.
Every medicine bag in a hospital setting is marked with both medication image and imprint code. This helps promote safe drug use by enabling pharmacists to quickly compare pill appearance with an image so they dispense the correct product; additionally, patients can verify their medication through this feature as well.
National Drug Codes (NDCs) are assigned to medications. These codes contain detailed information about the drugs, such as their name, manufacturer, strength, dosage and package size.
NDCs serve a variety of functions, such as reporting prescription drugs in pharmacy transactions and coding them within clinical information systems. Furthermore, NDCs play an essential role in prescription drug claims processing.
On their website, the FDA keeps a searchable database of NDCs. This database is updated daily and contains data submitted by drug establishments for finished drugs such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, approved drugs, repackaged and relabeled medications.
FDA requires all registered drug establishments to submit a current list of all drugs manufactured, prepared, propagated, compounded or processed for commercial distribution in the United States. Unless an exception is granted, registration and drug listing information must be done electronically.