Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to "I"dentify pills

Ever found a pill in your medicine cabinet and wondered what it was?  Ever gathered all your pills together, put them in your hand, popped them in your mouth, only to have one fall out?   You have searched the floor to finally find the pill, but have no idea which one of the 10 pills it was.  Sure the easy answer would be to look in the pill bottle and match it up to others that look the same.  Problem is, many pills look alike, or you could have taken the last ones in the bottles.
Almost all legal drugs, as some illegal, have marking, letters, numbers, symbols on them which make for easy identification.  Lets say you some accross a pill in your cabinet that has an imprint code of M357.  This can easily be identified as a pain medicine know as Vicodin. 
How can we be sure?  Drugs.com has a great section called "Pill identifier".  You can go here, enter in its imprint, or even color and shape and right away you will have what it is and a picture to go along with it.
This can be super helpful for parents, if you happen to stumble across a mystery pill in your childs room.
Some medicines can be easily identified and are easy to remember.  For example Ibuprofen.  The imprint will most commonly read "I-2".  The "I" is for Ibuprofen and the "2" is for 200 mg, which is the common, over the counter strength.
Marks nursing side note here:  For headaches Ibuprofen can be a great drug to take, but there are some things to consider when taking.  This medicine works as a blood thinner as well, so be cautioned that it may cause bleeding, or other serious complications.  Another things is that most people will pop 3-4 of these babies for a headache, not realizing that headaches are a side effect of Ibuprofen.  This can actually make matters worse.  Try just taking one, give it time to work and only if things do not get better try one more.  You will be amazed at how one pill can be just as, or more effective that 3-4.
So now you know, and that mystery pill will be a mystery no longer. Just use your computer and start typing away.  Who knows, it may even be fun!

1 comment:

  1. Very good and helpful Mark. thanks for the info.