How Can I Identify an Unknown Pill?

Your local drugstore can help identify unknown pills (photo Flickr Commons NKCR).

It can be a bit unnerving finding an unknown pill in your medicine chest, your pocket, or worse, in your teenager’s room.  What is it? Something harmless or something dangerous? A legal over-the-counter medicine or an illegal street drug?

Of course, your doctor and your pharmacist are the best sources of professional information for identifying an unknown medication. But there are also some cool tools on the internet you can use to track things down. The Pill Identification Wizard can reliably identify most medicine pills. Enter the color and shape of the pill, along with any identifying letters or numbers (known as imprints) and voila, the Wizard will tell you what you’re dealing with and even show you a picture so you can double-check that it matches the pill you have.

There are other pill identification tools out online and some government agencies that can help you identify likely street drugs.  Hopefully, you’ll never need to use them.

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  Need research? Quezi's researchers can answer your questions at uclue.com

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  • Louie Ellis says:

    Found white pills – looks like an @ or a k in italics on one side and 150 on the other

    • eiffel says:

      Louie, if the online tools mentioned in this article don’t help, you could post your question at the paid research service uclue.com or simply show the pills to a pharmacist for identification.

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