Each and every pill that doctors prescribe and pharmacists fill have a series of numbers and letters, called the pill identifier. The reason? The United States Food and Drug Administration requires that every drug manufacture uses a unique imprint for their different products.
The Purpose of the Pill Identifier
The imprinted code on a pill is more than just a series of numbers and letters. Whether it is engraved, embossed, stamped, or printed, pills sold in this nation are required to have an imprinted code to identify them. Not only is the imprinted code unique to each pill, but the code identifies the strength of the pill as well as the active ingredients. By having a series of numbers and letters on the pill, it helps pharmacists and patients alike to differentiate pills and their dosages from others.
The imprinted code on a pill typically doesn’t mean much to a pharmacy customer—but it should. Patients may get their medications mixed up after dropping their pill case or finding a pill on the floor. As a result, patients can use the pill’s imprint to identify the pill.
Importance of the Pill Identifier
When patients pick up their medications at the pharmacy, they typically have to trust that the pharmacist got their prescriptions right. But because pharmacy technicians and pharmacists fill so many prescriptions every day, they often make medication errors that can harm patients. Although a pill bottle might have the right label and information on it, it is always a good idea to check the pill identifier in conjunction with the pill’s shape and color to help determine if your are taking the correct pill and dosage.
While the pharmacist should double check each prescription before it leaves the pharmacy, sometimes pharmacists overlook mistakes that pharmacy technicians have made. For example, a pharmacy technician may have printed out the correct dug label, filled the right medication, but grabbed the wrong strength of drug—possibly filling 50mg instead of 5mg. When this happens, a customer may not even know that he or she has received the wrong dosage of drugs.
Importance of Checking the Pill Identifier
Because pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can make mistakes, it is important that every customer check his or her own pills. This is why there is a unique imprint on the drug, and it is fairly easy to check. By visiting www.drugs.com/imprints, you can check the pill identifier to confirm what strength it is and whether or not it is the correct pill your doctor prescribed.
We hope you have found this article helpful and that you will share this information with others on your favorite social media site, in hopes of saving someone from taking the wrong dosage of medication.