Wednesday, July 15, 2015

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: pill-identifying sites

A friend of mine recently found a pill in a hotel room.  She was curious as to what it was. she logged onto the Internet and found, on a google search, pages of pill-identifying sites. Fortunately, she was smart enough not to take the pill even though the pill-identifier engine indicated it was Vitamin V, or, in this case, its close cousin known by another name, Norco, because of a slightly reduced ratio of acetaminophen to hydrocodone.

Perhaps these sites perform a legitimate service, Perhaps a person simultaneously spills to bottles of pills before he or she has had a chance to look at each pill, and needs to know which is the antibiotic, which is to be taken three times per day, versus the muscle relaxant, which is to be taken once or twice a day. Or, more likely, perhaps a person has stupidly placed several different pills in a single bottle for the sake of convenience when he or she is traveling, assuming he or she will remember which is which. DON'T DO THIS! If you must, buy one of those little SMTWTFS containers and put your pills in there if what is to be taken when isn't too complicated. Better still, keep enough medication for yur trip in the original bottles. 9Then, if you're caught traveling with a level III substance, you have some evidence that it was prescribed.) place the remainder of each medication in an old prescription bottle OF THE EXACT SAME MEDICATION or carefully label containers and keep the medication that is to remain at home in those containers.

The sites might also be beneficial to a parent who finds pills in his or her child's room.
I can see how it would be good to know whether it's Vitamin C or Xanax   to which your kid has an addiction. A minor child is better off not having pills of any kind in his or her room without a parent's knowledge, but it happens. My mom went all Kate Gosselin on me because I had gelatin capsules in my room when I was fifteen.

One extra thing to consider is the accuracy of these sites. They're only as reliable as the people who operate them. Furthermore, people have been known to use these sites and/or their own knwoledge to manufacture remarkable kncokoffs of the real thing and sell them for high prices, sort of like the imitation-Louis Vuitton handbags that have been known to be sold at exorbitant prices. Then it becomes an issue of what is actually in these pills if it's not what the manufacturer or seller says. In a best-case scenario, it's only a binding agent that is used in virtually all non-capsules to hold the drug together in pill form. In a worst-case scenario, it's something potentially lethal.

drugs should come from pharmacies (or, obviously, in the case of over-the-counter-drugs, any reputable store that sells them) or doctors. Don't take your chances on pills you find lying around.

Update: Mother and baby are much better today.


  1. Replies
    1. Those sites can be of use on occasion. If a kid has pills on him at school, for example, it gives a principal an idea as to whether he should be informing the parents or calling the cops. Generally they should be taken with the same grain of sand one with any common sense takes anything he or she reads on the Internet.

  2. "caught traveling with a level III substance, you have some evidence that it was prescribed." Good legal advice.

    Of course Vioxx was completely legal when it was being sold and killing hundreds of people. One guy was holding a funeral for his wife who died in her 40s when she was in good health. She was taking Vioxx for pain. On the day of the funeral of his wife dying from an unknown cause, Vioxx was recalled. Any legal medication now, can be recalled and made into an illegal drug. Thousands of doctors prescribed Vioxx to millions of people for the most prominent health problem there is-- pain.

    At age 18 I had read enough to decide to not take any medications including aspirin. Maybe that is why I have not needed them. People take aspirin for pain but it slowly decreases your pain threshold so you need to take it with less and less pain.

  3. Please note that the above is just my opinion. The following famous people thought (past tense) that the above is nonsense.

    The following is sad since these celebrities were loved by millions of people. Elvis Presley, the king of rock that also starred in movies, died at age 42. Michael Jackson, the king of pop, died at age 50. Whitney Houston died at age 48. Brittany Murphy died at age 32. Bruce Lee died at 32. Judy Garland died at age 47 of barbiturate overdose. Heath Ledger (in A Knight's Tale and The Dark Knight) died at age 28 from a toxic combination of prescription drugs (medications). All above deaths were from legal medications.

    Ever hear of karma? Here is what a Registered Dietitian said on her blog. She promoted a medication and gave it to her son.
    "Anyway, last week I noticed my 5 year old son started acting really different (Thus, the lack of posts last week) I was a worried mess. Prior to this, he had never had any real health issues except a little asthma stuff going on during soccer season last fall.

    The only thing I could think we had done differently around here was we had been giving him Singulair for his allergy induced Asthma.

    Because I launched the drug Singulair as a sales Rep for Merck many years ago, I thought I knew all about Singulair [she learned that she missed the main warning about it].

    His movements looked like Tourettes Syndrome. He was constantly blinking, nodding and moving his hands. I used my iPhone to video his behavior.

    BTW-I am NOT going to post the video, just don’t want to & because the video makes me sad to watch."

    1. i'm unfamiliar with VioxX. i'm guessing it was a high-octane opiate.

      I think what you're saying about a reduction in pain tolerance due to such popularly considered benign drugss as aspirin, such could be thebcase. With the heavier stuff, you're dealing with chemical and psychological dependence in addition to lowered pain tolerance, but that's a whole different discussion.

      I will take pain killers following surgery, following a serious injury, with a urinary calculus, or presumably someday] following childbirth, but I try to deal with garden variety aches and pains without reaching for a pill bottle, and I have easier access than most.

      My uncle is a pediatrician. he hates it when ANYONE, even an MD unless it's an allerggist, family practitioner or fellow pediatrician,, treats one of his patients for anything respiratory without cinsulting him. he said that there are so many drug iand even food interactions, side affects, things including but not limited to the child's height and weight, that impact dosage even if a prescription is otherwise appropriate, that he doesn't want anyone but himslef or whomever is on call for him to prescribe evem if it's over-the counter for allery or respiratory drugs of any kind. My dad's an MD, and, as a parent, became fairly adept at diagnosing and treating our ailments, but my uncle didn't even want my dad giving us cough syrup without first running it by him.

    2. Vioxx was possibly the most popular drug ever! When Vioxx was recalled it lowered the whole Dow Jones industrial average. This would have gone up that day if it were not for Merck.

      "Once a leading prescription pain-relief medication worldwide, Vioxx (rofecoxib) and its manufacturer, Merck, fell from grace when scientists discovered the drug caused heart attacks, strokes and death."

      "Medical professionals claim that the drug’s manufacturer not only worked to conceal the risks associated with Vioxx but also schemed with federal drug regulators to keep them under wraps for as long as possible."

      "Released in 1999, Vioxx is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, much like ibuprofen and naproxen. It was used mainly for acute pain such as arthritis and menstrual-related symptoms. Unlike the other NSAIDs, however, Vioxx is in a class of drugs called COX-2 inhibitors."

  4. With the commute I am taking now, I only bring enough pills for the time that I am gone. For me, it is nausea meds every 4 hours. I am always worried that I am going to lose them some where along my commute.

    I am interested in checking out this website, so thanks for posting about this. Last week, I noticed that someone had spilled pills on the train. I let the attendant know, but he could not have cared less. I picked up the few pills that were visible so they wouldn't be consumed by a curious toddler. I threw them with my old prescription meds once I got home. They will go to a disposal program.

  5. That was wise of yu to pick them up. A tiny child could easily have grabbed one or two without a parent ever noticing. If they were acetaminophen, they could have destroyed a toddler's liver by the time anyone knew there was a problem. Just about any drug other than a placebo in multiple adult dosage can be devastating to the well-being of a toddler, as you well know.

  6. I'll email you about this , becca, because i don't want to post it in a public forum.