If you use multiple types of drugs, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish all the different pills. They can get mixed up, especially if you don't keep them in their original packaging. If you want to identify a mystery pill, there are several sources and methods that can help you figure out what it is.
Part 1 of 3: Studying the Pill
Step 1. Look closely at the pill to see if it has anything printed on it
Each pill has characteristics that are slightly different from those of other drugs. Does your pill have special characters or markings?
See if you see letters or numbers.
The pill can have text in a different or the same color as the background.
Step 2. Note the color of the pill
See if it is a dark or light color, and determine the shade.
Step 3. Identify the shape of the pill
Is the pill round, oval, triangular or any other shape?
See how thick or thin the pill is.
Step 4. Estimate the size of the pill
Step 5. Determine what kind of pill it is
The drug can be a tablet, but it can also be a capsule or gel capsule. Tablets consist of one piece in solid form, capsules consist of two parts filled with powder and gel capsules are oval and filled with liquid.
Part 2 of 3: Looking up the pill in a database
Step 1. Search the Internet for a database to identify pills
There are many different resources that can help you figure out which pill you are dealing with. By entering the characteristics of the pill you can determine which medicine it is.
Enter the caption, color and shape in the appropriate category.
Step 2. Consider using a picture medicine book
If you'd rather not search the Internet, you can purchase or borrow a drug identification book from the library.
In the book, find the picture of the pill that is the same as the unknown pill.
Step 3. Call or go to the pharmacy
If you are still not sure, you can describe the pill to a pharmacist, or take it to the pharmacy to ask for information. Put the pill in a plastic bag and take it with you to the pharmacy for identification.
Part 3 of 3: Checking the packaging of your medicines
Step 1. Check if the medication comes from a package in your house
Open each package and see if it contains any pills that are the same as the unknown pill.
Step 2. Read the package inserts with the medicines
All medicines should come with package inserts. In some cases, the appearance of the pill is described in the package insert. That can help you determine if it's the pill you're looking for.
- Be careful when looking for brand names or common names of pills. Many pharmacies give the generic name of the medication.
- If you can't find the pill in any database, it might be an illegal drug.
- Do not hold the pill too much in your hands once you have found it. As a result, the label can fade, the pill can lose its shape and harmful substances can be absorbed through the skin.