Skip to main content


 Senior Rx Safety.

We’ve all been there. We lose track of our medications and wonder what in the world this little oval pill or gel capsule contains? Should we throw it away to be safe? Is it your blood pressure medicine or an old vitamin? Not to worry. It’s actually rather easy to identify pills or capsules these days, using one of many pill identification websites.

In general, medications are identified in four ways: an image of the pill, plus either an imprint code, the color or shape of the pill, or all of the above.

Let’s say you have a small white film-coated pill and you need to know what it’s for. Simply search on one of the sites below. The pill has DAN on one side and the numbers 5658 on the other side. You’ll quickly learn that this is a ten milligram medication for muscle spasms known as cyclobenzaprine. Problem solved.

There are several ways imprints are used on pills and capsules. They may be embossed with the mark raised above the surface of the pill, they may be engraved (cut into the surface) of the pill, or debossed, which means imprinted into the surface of the pill, leaving a dent. Some imprints are printed on the pill or capsule with ink.

If you should find a pill that is not coded or imprinted there can be several reasons. First, the drug may be illegal. Secondly, it may be unapproved. Or, thirdly, it may be exempt from such coding as are vitamins and supplements. It is very important to be fully aware of the identity and use of any drug item before taking it.

Here are some of the best and easiest to use drug identification websites:

In the U.S.  This site walks you through an identification process by selecting the appropriate imprints, shapes and colors.  After selecting imprint, shape and color, this site matches pictures to your pill or capsule.  Go to this site, select pill identification from the menu at the top of the page and proceed to the simple identifying process.

In the U.K.  This site is a place to research various medicines. There is extensive information about various categories of drug items and hundreds of photos to help identify your particular drug item.  This site offers extensive information about drugs. It includes a list of medications from A-Z and also offers a pill identifier section plus an interactions checker for those taking multiple medications daily.

Worldwide  Ask Granny suggests you take a look at this site  which has information on medications available in 185 countries and also offers extensive information on drugs that might have multiple names.