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The remedy to pill confusion

The remedy to pill confusion

(NAPS)-A common scenario: You're not sure whether to take a pink round pill twice daily or a white oval capsule. Medications can be confusing for patients, with many pills looking alike in color or shape. For the nearly 20 percent of Americans who currently take at least five prescription drugs, it's especially important that they can differentiate between their medications. Recent research shows that many people may need help making a positive identification for tablets and capsules.
Proper medication identification is increasingly difficult because only a few pill colors and shapes are exceedingly common. There are more than 1,450 round white pills, yet there are only two brown triangular pills and one blue hexagonal pill.
More than 3,500 pills on the U.S. market are white (46 percent of all pills), 285 are red but only 14 pills are black. Round tablets make up nearly half of all pills (48 percent), with oval closely following at 46 percent. With so many physical similarities in pills, it can be difficult for patients and health care pro_fessionals to identify medications. When visiting the doctor's office, patients often describe medications by their characteristics or bring in a bag of pills. In fact, nearly 25 percent of physicians report identifying mystery pills brought in by their patients.
There is a simple solution to pill confusion available for a smartphone or tablet device. More than 1.4 million health care professionals, including 50 percent of U.S. physicians, are currently using the Epocrates drug application to help make accurate prescribing decisions and diagnoses. One of the features this application offers is a pill ID tool that lets users identify any pill by size, shape, color, imprinted markings and other characteristics. With this feature, health care professionals and patients can solve pill mysteries and help ensure drug safety and proper use.
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