I received an email this morning from Medscape introducing me to their new Pill Identifier Tool.
The tool is pretty simple to use. When you click on the link above youâ€™ll be taken to the Pill Identifier Tool site where you can begin your search. Any pharmacist, nurse, or physician thatâ€™s ever used a reference to identify an oral medication will be familiar with the process.
Across the top of the Pill Identifier you will find several fields to help narrow your search: IMPRINT, SHAPE, COLOR, FORM, SCORING. Iâ€™ve always found that if you have the imprint youâ€™re about 80% there.
Clicking on a medication will give you additional information. Thereâ€™s even an option to view the Drug Monograph.
The email I received showed the Pill Identifier Tool running on a smartphone, but when I looked at my Medscape application – Moto X running stock Android 4.4 – I did not see an option for medication identification. I even reinstalled the application thinking that that might help. No luck.
I remember a time when this type of activity was limited to those that had the data, i.e. mostly healthcare professionals in hospitals. But thatâ€™s no longer true. The availability of references like these are good for everyone.
Overall Medscapeâ€™s Pill Identifier Tool is a nice little web-based application. Itâ€™ll be even better when I can use it on my Moto X.
3 thoughts on “New Medscape Pill Identifier Tool [reference]”
It’s not yet available in Medscape’s app. A browser-based mobile version is available at reference.medscape.com/pill-identifier so you can access the tool using your phone’s browser.
Problem with Pill Identifier: In general, I think this is a very valuable tool. There is a significant problem with the Imprint lookup. If an imprint consists of a letter and a number, you have a 50% chance of finding the item. It all depends on whether you place a “space” between any part of the imprint. For example, if you have a white tablet with the letters PD157 on one side, you get the proper result (atoravastatin 40mg) if you enter “PD 157” (with a space between the “PD” and the “157”, but you get “no imprint” (i.e., the imprint can NOT be found in the database) if you enter PD157 withOUT any spaces. From a technical, programming standpoint, the search engine should disregard any spaces in the imprint code that is entered, so that whether you entered “PD157” or “PD 157” (i.e., with or without the space) you should get the same result. I found the same problem with several drugs. I have advised the company that is distributing this software and I hope the fix this soon. Otherwise, let the user beware. You may have to try imprints with and without spaces between letters and numbers. Unfortunately, this is not something the average user is going to remember to do…
Thanks for the feedback, Ray. Good to know. I played with the product a bit and found that it wasn’t quite as easy to use as others I’ve used in the past. I suppose if you use it as just another tool to help narrow down the search then you’ll be fine. Giving consumers access to this type of thing is always a double-edged sword in my opinion. It’s good that people have more information, but it can reach up and bite you on the rear if you don’t critically look at the information that’s provided.