There are so many different colors of gel caps. Did you know that there are over 80,000 color combinations for tablets? From yellow to red—and even different shades of red—the pills we take have many different colorful coatings. While different colors of pills can help people who take a lot of pills differentiate their tablets, color can also help consumers when they refill their prescriptions.
When people need refills, they typically call the pharmacy’s automated refill line, punch in the prescription number, and swing by the pharmacy the next day to get their prescriptions. Because a refill isn’t a new prescription, most consumers use the pharmacy drive-thru or rush into the pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions—not wanting a consultation with the pharmacist.
When people do this, they sometimes come home with pills that are different colors than what they expected. For example, a person may have been taking a red pill and expected to open the pill bottle and find the same red pills, but instead finds that the refill prescription bottle contained a different color pill. When pills are a different color than what a patient was taking, it can be confusing.
What Can Different Pill Colors Mean?
While different colors of pills may just be the difference between generic pills and brand name pills, it can also indicate a problem. If you received a different color of your drug than you have been taking, it may indicate that you received the wrong medication. It is possible that the pharmacy filled another medication instead of the pills they should have provided to you. For example, your refill may have been for Lamictal but the pharmacy technician filling your prescription got confused with a sound-alike drug name and filled Lamisil. As a result, you ended up with the wrong medication and wrong color of pills.
This is why it is always a good idea to open your pill bottle at the pharmacy and check to make sure you received the right medication before leaving the pharmacy. However, if you didn’t do that, you can still save yourself from taking the wrong drugs. Before assuming that the medication in your pill bottle is safe and that it must just be from a different manufacturer, you should contact the pharmacy and tell them about the incident. You can also go online to drugs.com and search your pills through the pill identifier to determine if the pharmacy gave you the incorrect prescription. Typically, receiving a different color of pills is a sign that something could be wrong with your prescription.
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