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Free pill identifier tools

Free pill identifier tools

Navin Khosla NowPatientGreen tick
Updated on 10 Nov 2023

Pill identification can be a daunting task, especially when you come across a medication that is unfamiliar to you. Whether it’s a prescription drug, an over-the-counter (OTC) medication, or a generic pill, it’s crucial to identify unknown pills correctly before taking them. Fortunately, there are free pill identifier tools available online that can help you in this process. This comprehensive guide will explore everything you need to know about using pill identifier tools effectively.

Why use pill identifier tools?

  • Identify pills with ease: Pill identifier tools, also known as pill finder tools or pill identifier wizards, are online resources that enable you to identify a pill based on its appearance. By entering details such as the pill id, pill color, or shape of the pill you can quickly find out what the drug is and gather more information about it
  • Avoid medication errors: Pill identification is crucial to prevent medication errors. If you find a stray pill in your medicine cabinet or come across a pill that you’re unsure about, using a pill identifier tool can help you avoid taking the wrong medication by mistake
  • Ensure safety: Identifying a pill correctly is essential for your safety. Some pills may have similar appearances but different active ingredients. By using a pill identifier tool, you can ensure that you take the right medication and avoid any adverse effects

Now that we understand the importance of pill identifier tools, let’s explore the best free options available.

Best free pill identification tools

When it comes to pill identification, several reliable and user-friendly online tools can assist you. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular and effective free pill identifier tools:

  • Drugs.com pill identifier: Drugs.com offers a comprehensive pill identifier tool that allows you to search for pills based on their imprint code, shape, color, or a combination of these criteria. It provides detailed information about the identified pill, including drug names (brand name and generic name), strength, and other useful data
  • Smart pill identifier App: If you prefer using a mobile app, Smart Pill Identifier is an excellent option. This app enables you to take a pill image and uses advanced image recognition technology to identify it accurately

These pill identifier tools offer a user-friendly experience and provide comprehensive information about the identified pills. Now, let’s explore how to use these tools effectively.

How to identify a pill using a pill identifier tool

Using a pill identifier tool is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you identify a pill accurately:

  • Gather information: Before using the pill identifier tool, gather as much information about the pill as possible. Take note of the pill’s imprint code, color, shape, and any other markings or features that might help with the identification
  • Choose a pill identifier tool: Select a reliable pill identifier tool from the ones mentioned above. Let’s use Drugs.com Pill Identifier as an example
  • Enter pill details: On the Drugs.com pill identifier tool, enter the available information about the pill, such as the imprint code, color, or shape. The more details you provide, the more accurate the identification will be
  • Review results: After entering the pill details, the tool will list possible matches. Review the results carefully and compare them to the pill you have. Pay attention to the drug names, strength, and any other relevant information provided
  • Consult a healthcare professional: If you’re still uncertain about the identification or need further information, it’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional, such as your doctor or pharmacist. They can provide expert guidance and ensure your safety

While pill identifier tools are incredibly useful, it’s important to note that they may not be able to identify all pills. Some medications may have unique markings or characteristics that are not present in the tool’s drug database. In such cases, consulting a healthcare professional is crucial.

Identifying prescription Drugs and OTC medications

Identifying prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be done using pill identifier tools. Here’s how you can identify each type effectively:

Prescription drugs

If you have a pill and are unsure if it is a prescription medication, follow these steps:

  • Use a pill identifier tool: Choose a reliable pill identifier tool and enter the pill’s imprint code, color, or shape. This will help narrow down the search and provide accurate results
  • Review results: Once you’ve entered the pill details, review the results provided by the pill identifier tool. Look for drug names (both brand and generic), strengths, and any other relevant information
  • Consult a medical professional: If you’re still uncertain about the identification or need more information, consult your doctor or pharmacist for assistance

OTC medications

Identifying over-the-counter medications follows a similar process:

  • Use a pill identifier tool: Select a pill identifier tool and enter the pill’s imprint code, color, or shape
  • Review results: Carefully review the results generated by the tool, focusing on drug names, strengths, and any additional information available
  • Consult a healthcare professional: If you have any doubts or need further clarification, reach out to a healthcare professional for guidance

By following these steps, you can accurately identify prescription drugs and OTC medications using pill identifier tools.

Understanding pill imprint codes

Pill imprint codes play a significant role in identifying pills. Here’s what you need to know about these codes:

  • Definition: A pill’s imprint code is a unique combination of letters, numbers, or symbols that are printed on the pill’s surface. It helps identify the pill and provides valuable information about its manufacturer, active ingredients, and dosage
  • Searching by imprint code: Pill identifier tools allow you to search for pills based on their imprint codes. You can quickly find information about the pill by entering the code into the tool
  • Manufacturer variations: It’s important to note that different manufacturers may produce pills with the same active ingredient but with other imprint codes. This occurs because each manufacturer assigns its own unique code to its products

If you’re unsure about the meaning of the imprint code on a pill, using a pill identifier tool can help you gather more information. In case of any confusion, consult a healthcare professional for further assistance.

Decoding pill numbers

The numbers on pills correspond to the pill’s imprint code. Here’s what you need to know about pill numbers:

  • Identification: The numbers on a pill’s imprint code are used to identify the pill and provide valuable information about it
  • Using a pill identifier tool: Most pill identifier tools allow you to search for pills using their imprint codes, including numbers. By entering the numbers into the tool, you can gather information about the pill
  • Consult a healthcare professional: If you’re unsure about the numbers on your pill or need additional information, consult a healthcare professional for guidance and medical advice

Pill numbers can be instrumental in identifying pills accurately. Utilize pill identifier tools and seek professional assistance when needed.

Identifying pills with logos or no imprint

Some pills may have logos instead of imprint codes, while others may have no imprints at all. Here’s what you need to know in such cases:

  • Logos: If a pill has a logo, ignore the logo when using a pill identifier tool. Instead, search for the pill’s imprint code, which can be found on the pill’s surface. The pill identifier tool will help you identify the pill based on the imprint code
  • No imprint: Pills that have no imprint codes are often vitamins, dietary supplements, or herbal pills. These types of pills are not regulated by the FDA and therefore are not required to have imprint codes

In case of any confusion or uncertainty about pills with logos or no imprint codes, consult a healthcare professional for guidance.

Why do some tablets have a line in the middle?

You may have noticed that some tablets have a line in the middle. Here’s the reason behind this:

  • Purpose: Tablets with a line in the middle are designed to be easily divided into two equal doses. This feature allows individuals to split the tablet if they require a lower dosage
  • Dosage flexibility: The line in the middle enables patients to adjust their dosage according to their specific needs. They can either take the entire tablet or split it into two equal parts

If you’re unsure whether to split a tablet or how to do it correctly, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

Ensuring medication safety

Identifying pills correctly is essential for your safety. However, it’s equally important to be aware of potential risks associated with counterfeit medications and drug abuse. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Counterfeit medications: Counterfeit medications, including fake pills, are a growing concern. To ensure authenticity, purchase medications from reputable sources and check for any misspellings, packaging anomalies, or issues with coating
  • Commonly abused prescription drugs: Prescription drugs that are commonly abused include opioids, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and stimulants. These drugs can be addictive and have serious health consequences if misused

By staying vigilant and utilizing pill identifier tools, you can play an active role in ensuring medication safety.


Pill identifier tools are invaluable resources for identifying prescription drugs, OTC medications, and generic pills accurately. By utilizing these tools and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently identify pills based on their appearance, imprint codes, or other distinguishing features. Remember to consult a healthcare professional if you have any doubts or concerns. Stay safe and informed by making pill identification a priority.


Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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