The National Library of Medicine is working on a comprehensive drug identification guide, the beta version of which is already public and available online. To identify the drug one can select the shape, color, size, imprint, and how the pill is sectioned, and Pillbox narrows the selection down to the most likely drug in question. There’s still a disclaimer warning not to use this service in clinical work, but judging by the fact that there’s already over 7,000 pills classified, it’s looking like the service should be coming out of beta sometime soon.
Pillbox was developed to aid in the identification of unknown solid dosage pharmaceuticals. The system combines high-resolution images of tablets and capsules with FDA-approved appearance information (imprint, shape, color, etc.) to enable users to visually search for and identify an unknown solid dosage pharmaceutical.
This system is designed for use by emergency physicians, first responders, other health care providers, Poison Control Center staff, and concerned citizens.
The system enables users to identify solid dosage forms based on physical criteria: imprint (characters or number printed on a medication), shape, color, size, and scoring. Users are shown thumbnail images of possible matches. These images are continually updated as the user enters additional information.
Once a solid dosage form has been identified, additional information is provided, including brand/generic name, ingredients, and the National Drug File identification number. Links are provided to NLM drug information resources, such as FDA-approved label information (DailyMed) and the Drug Information Portal, which searches all NLM drug information resources.