It is TEOTWAWKI and you find some strange prescription pills and wonder what they are, so how do you identify them. If the internet is still working its easy. There are several pill identification sites on the web. If the internet is down you can check your Physicians Desk Reference or other pill identification manuals.
During or after a major emergency or disaster, you may have access to medications that you are unable to identify or know how to use. If the internet is up you can check the following websites and find identification guides.
- RxList http://www.rxlist.com/pill-identification-tool/article.htm
- Drugs.com http://www.drugs.com/pill_identification.html
- WebMD http://www.webmd.com/pill-identification/
These websites will also provide you with additional information including usages, doses and interactions. But what if the internet is down?
You should have a copy of at least one of the following books
The Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) is a commercially published compilation of manufacturer’s information on prescription drugs, updated annually. It provides information on what the medication is used for, the allowable dosages and has a section that helps you with pill identification. If you are not a trained medical professional, you will want to have a medical dictionary as a companion to help you understand this manual. This book can be purchased on the internet for about $65.
There is also a consumer version of this book available, it provides less information, but is more readable. It can be purchased for under $20. It does not provide much information on dosages.
PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs 10th Edition is a pocket edition that provided information on the more commonly prescribed medications. It provides the following information.
- What you need to know about the top prescription medications.
- Includes more than 50 new drugs.
- Key facts about dosages, side effects, drug and food interactions, and more.
- Full-color Visual Identification Guide for pill identification.
- User-friendly guide filled with information you need on the most commonly prescribed medications.
This manual can be purchased on the internet for $8.99.
One last book that should be mentioned is the Nurse’s Drug Handbook which sells for $33.00 on Amazon. The Nurses Handbook is similar to the PDR, but is written for nurses and may be easier for a layman to understand. It has a pill identification section, information on dosages, usages and interactions with other medications.
On the whole, these manuals are fairly easy to get hold of, many doctors and nurses replace their manuals yearly. They will often give you their old ones. A manual that is a year or two old is still useful. You risk losing out on the most recently released medicines, but I wouldn’t expect many just-released drugs to be available in a emergency situation.
For those who are interested I have looked up fish antibiotics in the PDR and the colors, and coding are the same as for the prescription products. In an emergency being able to identify medications and know their usages and dosages could save a life.