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Pillbox: Pill Identification System

Pillbox is the result of a partnership between the National Library of Medicine and the Food and Drug Administration. It helps you identify unknown pills and tablets by parameters such as form, color, size or imprint. The constantly updated database now has more than 7000 entries with images.

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.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. martin #

    they have been in beta for a while…
    i wonder how much of this precious info can be transferred to other countries…

    March 25, 2010
  2. I’m David Hale, Project Manager for Pillbox. Yes, we’ve been in beta for a while. We’re working to improve communication about what’s happening with the project. Pillbox has five main components: FDA metadata restructuring/validation, photography R&D, UI/UX, search, and API. All five are moving forward.

    We hope to have the “not for clinical use” wording removed from the disclaimer and API soon. That is one of the main issues keeping Pillbox in beta.

    What makes Pillbox unique is that it is opening the medication data workflow and creating a level playing field where all have equal access. In doing so, we are uncovering issues which need to be corrected. The NLM and FDA are working together to ensure that these issues are discussed in open forums and that those who will use Pillbox have a voice in the solutions.

    I’m always happy to bring another voice into the conversation.

    Best,
    David Hale
    Project Manager, Pillbox
    david.hale@nih.gov

    March 30, 2010
  3. And as for international use of Pillbox’s data, we’re in discussions with other agencies regarding this. The data is also available via an API. The API (like the website) is in beta, although we still have open slots left.

    Best,
    David Hale
    Project Manager, Pillbox
    david.hale@nih.gov

    March 30, 2010
  4. betty presnell #

    i found a small orange pill with L2777 on it. what is it?

    July 30, 2010

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  1. It’s tiny and pink and I think it is for my heart.
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