What tablets do I have in this bottle?
What is this pink pill in my bottle of blood pressure medications?
Did my pharmacy give me the right medication? It was white and round last time now it is yellow and oval.
These scenarios happen quite frequently and can lead to medication errors when consumers cannot correctly identify their medications. Doctors and pharmacists are diligent in making sure patients receive the correct medication. As a consumer, it is important to protect yourself and ensure you have the correct medication. Thanks to online and mobile pill identifier apps consumers can now self-identify medications. Pill identifiers or pill finders can help consumers verify medications they should have received and avoid taking the wrong pill.
In this review, I identified the top 5 pill identifier apps and put them to the test. I tested the applications using popular over-the-counter medicines and two prescription drugs.
OTC Medications Used for Testing
Prescription Drugs Used for Testing
In all applications, I searched for the medicines using each drug’s “imprint" which is the unique numbers or letters printed on the pill. I also selected the color and shape of the medication from a visual menu.
1. Drugs.com Pill Identifier
Advantages: User-friendly, accurate, comprehensive drug information, relevant information, including news about the drug, iPhone/iPad/online versions
Disadvantages: $0.99 for basic version and $39.99 for pro edition, needs to improve OTC database
2. Epocrates Pill ID
Advantages: Free, targets healthcare providers, offered pricing data from a drug price comparison website.
Disadvantages: User must create an account, needs to improve OTC database