Vague Pharmaceutical Imprints

Updated 04-27-12

All FDA approved pharmaceuticals must have a unique imprint. An imprint is any marking on the pill such as an engraved logo, numbers and/or letters, or a raised or debossed symbol. Some pill imprints are quite simple. Maybe the imprint is only a logo; other times it's one letter or number. We have assembled a list of some unusual imprints that are hard to identify and which are commonly mistaken for street drugs such as ecstasy.

These drug imprints are the hardest to find in the databases because there is so little information to go on. It's a lot easier to identify a pill marked with a letter and three or four numbers than a drug imprint consisting of only one letter, number, logo or shape. Pills with simple imprints make positive pill identification difficult. Look through any imprint database, and you're likely to find many different medications marked with an identical letter or number.

Pills in the OTC (over the counter) category are the worst offenders. This category has the most pills thought to be ecstasy because it's so hard to identify these vague imprints.

Acetaminophen 500 mg - Leiner Health Products
Red circle imprinted Z, N
Anacin (400 mg aspirin, 32 mg caffeine) - Insight Pharmaceuticals
White circle described as arrow, Christmas tree
Aspirin 81 mg - Time Cap Labs
Yellow circle imprinted with heart logo, raised heart, yellow heart
Same tablet is available in peach.
Aspirin 81 mg - PDK Labs
Yellow circle described as K, K with arrow, special K
Aspirin 81 mg - LNK International
Peach circle imprinted L, 7
Aspirin 81 mg - LNK International
Yellow circle imprinted L, 7
Aspirin 81 mg - LNK International
White circle imprinted L, 7
Aspirin 81 mg - Time Cap Labs
Yellow circle described as raised figure 8, infinity sign, double circle
Aspirin 81 mg - Bayer
Yellow circle imprinted 81, 18
Aspirin 325 mg - Time Cap Labs
Orange circle described as anchor, hammer, crazy T, orange top
Same tablet is available in red.
Aspirin 325 mg - Walsh Distributors
White circle imprinted N or Z
Same tablet is available in orange.
Aspirin 325 mg - PDK Labs
Orange circle described as K, K with arrow, special K
AZO Yeast (homeopathic ingredients) - Amerifit Brands
White circle imprinted Y
Bisacodyl 5 mg - Walgreens Health Initiatives
Orange circle imprinted 5
Bufferin (325 mg aspirin) - Novartis Consumer Health
White circle imprinted B
Calcium Carbonate 420 mg - Tellus Medical Products
Pink circle imprinted S on one side
Chaser Plus (homeopathic ingredients) - Distr. Living Essentials
Orange oblong with plus sign imprint
Claritin RediTab (10 mg loratadine) - Schering
OTC antihistamine described as C, U
Excedrin Extra Strength (250 mg acetaminophen, 250 mg aspirin, 65 mg caffeine) - Novartis Consumer Health
Described as white E, often confused with ecstasy
Excedrin Migraine (250 mg acetaminophen, 250 mg aspirin, 65 mg caffeine) - Novartis Consumer Health
White oblong with E imprint
Excedrin Migraine (250 mg acetaminophen, 250 mg aspirin, 65 mg caffeine) - Novartis Consumer Health
Green and white bilayered tablet imprinted E
Fasprin (81 mg aspirin ODT) - Improvita
Yellow circle imprinted F
Fergon (27 mg ferrous gluconate) - Bayer
OTC iron supplement imprinted F
Hydroxycut - Iovate
OTC dietary supplement described as circle with lightning bolt, circle with slash, bisected O
Jet-Alert (100 mg caffeine) - Bell Pharmaceuticals
White circle with 100 imprint
Jet-Alert (200 mg caffeine) - Bell Pharmaceuticals
Yellow oblong with 200 imprint
Jet-Lag Free (homeopathic ingredients) - Natures Defense
White circle imprinted with underlined H
Nuprin (200 mg ibuprofen) - Advanced Healthcare
White circle with underlined N
Nytol (25 mg diphenhydramine) - GlaxoSmithKline
OTC sleeping aid imprinted N
One-A-Day Essential - Bayer
OTC multivitamin described as red circle imprinted 1
Pepcid Complete (10 mg famotidine, 800 mg calcium carbonate, 165 mg magnesium hydroxide) - Johnson & Johnson - Merck Consumer
OTC heartburn remedy marked P
Prilosec OTC (20.6 mg omeprazole magnesium) - Procter & Gamble
OTC heartburn remedy described as underlined P
Primatene (12.5 mg ephedrine, 200 mg guaifenesin) - Wyeth Consumer Healthcare
OTC bronchodilator and expectorant described as yellow P in a circle
Remifemin (20 mg black cohosh) - GlaxoSmithKline
OTC menopause supplement described as butterfly, angel wings, white angel
Robitussin Cough Gels (15 mg dextromethorphan) - Wyeth Consumer
OTC cough suppressant described as red gelcap marked with a white R
Senokot (8.6 mg sennosides) - Purdue Products
OTC laxative described as an S, snake, squiggle
Senokot-S (8.6 mg sennosides, 50 mg of docusate sodium) - Purdue Products
OTC laxative described as P, P-Bo
SenokotXTRA (17.2 mg sennosides) - Purdue Products
OTC laxative described as vague X, stylized X
Sominex (25 mg diphenhydramine) - GlaxoSmithKline
OTC sleeping aid described as an S, snake, squiggle, blue superman
Sominex caplet with 50 mg diphenhydramine is available with same S imprint.
Uristat (95 mg phenazopyridine) - McNeil-PPC
OTC urinary tract analgesic described as U, lowercase N
Viactiv (500 mg calcium carbonate, 40 mcg vitamin K, 200 IU vitamin D) - McNeil
OTC calcium supplement described as white oblong imprinted V
Viactiv Multi-Vitamin - McNeil
OTC lavender oblong multivitamin imprinted V
Vivarin (200 mg caffeine) - GlaxoSmithKline
OTC alertness aid often mistaken for Valium, described as V, yellow V, yellow arrow
V imprint is on both sides of tablet. Same tablet is available in an oblong shape.

 

Vague imprints confuse even the best pill ID experts like the DEA. For example, the "raised heart" aspirin was thought to be MDMA. After testing, the DEA published the following information in the Drug Enforcement Administration's Microgram Bulletin:

MDMA "MIMIC" ASPIRIN TABLETS IN EASTERN OHIO

 

The DEA North Central Laboratory (Chicago, Illinois) recently received 60 yellow tablets with a raised heart logo on one side, suspected Ecstasy (MDMA) (see Photo 4). The tablets were purchased in and nearby Warren, Ohio, by agents from the DEA Youngstown Resident Office, and were round and biconvex, measuring 7.5 mm x 4.5 mm x 2.1 mm, weighed 185 milligrams each, and were film coated with a white interior. Analysis by MS and IR, however, indicated not MDMA but rather aspirin (not quantitated). (image of yellow tablets with a raised heart logo on one side, suspected Ecstasy (photo 4)

 

Microgram Bulletin Editor's notes:

[Editor's Notes: DEA/Youngstown indicates that these tablets are frequently sold as Ecstasy in eastern Ohio and neighboring regions. Interestingly, this product does not appear to be listed in the FDA database for approved Over-the-Counter medications. However, an inquiry on a national pharmacists' list server indicated two manufacturers of this or highly similar products, Smart Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Vancouver, Washington), and TimeCap Labs, Inc. (Farmingdale, New Jersey). In both cases, the tablets contain 81 milligrams of aspirin, and are intended for use as "preventive medicine" against heart attacks (this information courtesy of Dr. Donald H. Williams, Executive Director, Washington State Board of Pharmacy).]

Information from Drug Enforcement Administration Microgram Bulletin - January 2003

 

We'll continue to add unusual OTC imprints when they are found.

 

Some prescription drug imprints are as vague as many OTC medications, making positive pill identification very difficult. Following are some unusual RX pill imprints:

Ambien CR Extended Release (6.25 mg zolpidem) - Sanofi-Synthelabo
Sedative/hypnotic
Described as pink A~, A-
Ambien CR Extended Release (12.5 mg zolpidem) - Sanofi-Synthelabo
Sedative/hypnotic
Blue circle imprinted A~, A-
Axert (12.5 mg almotriptan) - Ortho McNeil
Acute migraine remedy
White circle with blue A logo, triangle with dot logo
Benzonatate 100 mg - Ethex Corp.
Antitussive
White ball imprinted E in black
Benzonatate 100 mg - Zydus
Antitussive
Yellow ball imprinted with stylized Z
Benzonatate 200 mg - Zydus
Antitussive
Yellow ball imprinted with beta symbol or B
Carvedilol 3.125 mg - Glenmark
Beta-blocker
White circle imprinted G
Citalopram 10 mg - Caraco
SSRI antidepressant
Peach circle imprinted C
Citalopram 10 mg - Caraco
SSRI antidepressant
Peach circle imprinted 5 (discontinued)
Citalopram 10 mg - Torrent
SSRI antidepressant
Peach circle imprinted 10
Clarinex RediTab ODT (2.5 mg desloratadine) - Schering-Plough
Antihistamine
Mottled red tablet imprinted K
Clarinex RediTab ODT (5 mg desloratadine) - Schering-Plough
Antihistamine
Mottled red tablet imprinted A
Colestid (1 gram colestipol) - Pfizer
Cholesterol lowering drug
Yellow oval imprinted U, lowercase N
Colestipol 1 gram - Global
Cholesterol lowering drug
White oval imprinted G
Detrol LA Extended Release (2 mg tolterodine) - Ortho McNeil
Treatment for overactive bladder
Described as walking man, stickman, line man, dancing man
Detrol LA Extended Release (4 mg tolterodine) - Ortho McNeil
Treatment for overactive bladder
Described as walking man, stickman, line man, dancing man
Fexofenadine 180 mg - Prasco
Antihistamine
Described as peach tablet imprinted with underlined 018 or overlined 810. Round tablet imprinted underlined 03 and oblong tablet imprinted underlined 06 are different dosages made by Prasco.
Fluconazole 100 mg - Glenmark
Antifungal
Pink trapezoid imprinted 100
White trapezoid imprinted 200 is also available
Folbalin - Pan American Labs
RX nutritional vitamin
Peach circle imprinted with heart logo
Lansoprazole 15 mg Orally Disintegrating - Teva
Heartburn remedy
White circle w/white specks imprinted 15
Lansoprazole 30 mg Orally Disintegrating - Teva
Heartburn remedy
White circle w/white specks imprinted 30
Liquibid-D (600 mg guaifenesin, 40 mg phenylephrine) - Capellon
Decongestant and expectorant
Described as star 1200
Liquibid-PD (275 mg guaifenesin, 25 mg phenylephrine) - Capellon
Decongestant and expectorant
Described as blue and white triangle with star
Lisinopril 5 mg - Lupin
ACE inhibitor
Described as pink circle imprinted 5
Maxalt MLT Orally Disintegrating (5 mg rizatriptan) - Merck
Acute migraine remedy
Described as a triangle
Maxalt MLT Orally Disintegrating (10 mg rizatriptan) - Merck
Acute migraine remedy
Described as a square
Meloxicam 7.5 mg - Carlsbad
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
Yellow circle imprinted 5
Meloxicam 15 mg - Carlsbad
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
Yellow circle imprinted 100
Meloxicam 7.5 mg - Lupin
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
Yellow circle imprinted 7.5
Meloxicam 15 mg - Lupin
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
Yellow oval imprinted 15
Metoprolol 25 mg - Caraco
Beta-blocker
White circle imprinted with 1
Mirtazapine 7.5 mg - Caraco
Tetracyclic antidepressant
Orange circle imprinted C
Mirtazapine 30 mg - Caraco
Tetracyclic antidepressant
Reddish brown oval imprinted with 500
Mobic (7.5 mg meloxicam) - Boehringer Ingelheim
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
Described as tower, house, design with vertical and horizontal lines, design with lines and arrow (image side 1)
Described as bubble M or W logo (image side 2)
Myfortic Delayed Release (180 mg mycophenolate sodium) - Novartis
Immunosuppressive
Lime green circle imprinted C
Nephrocaps - Fleming & Company
RX renal vitamin
Described as black gel cap with F in a triangle
Nitroglycerin Sublingual 0.03 mg - Glenmark
Vasodilator
White circle imprinted 3
Nitroglycerin Sublingual 0.04 mg - Glenmark
Vasodilator
White circle imprinted 4
Nitroglycerin Sublingual 0.06 mg - Glenmark
Vasodilator
White circle imprinted 6
Pergolide 0.05 mg - Teva (Ivax)
Antiparkinson agent
Ivory modified rectangle imprinted G, two squares on reverse side (discontinued)
Prandin (0.5 mg repaglinide) - Novo Nordisk
Treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus
Described as a deer, ram, four legged animal
Prandin (1 mg repaglinide) - Novo Nordisk
Treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus
Described as a deer, ram, four legged animal
Prandin (2 mg repaglinide) - Novo Nordisk
Treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus
Described as a deer, red bull, ram, four legged animal
Prevacid SoluTab Orally Disintegrating (15 mg lansoprazole) - Takeda
Heartburn remedy
White circle w/orange or brown specks imprinted 15
Prevacid SoluTab Orally Disintegrating (30 mg lansoprazole) - Takeda
Heartburn remedy
White circle w/orange or brown specks imprinted 30
Quinaglute Duratab (324 mg quinidine) - Berlex
Antiarrhythmic agent
Described as beaker and clock
Sanctura (20 mg trospium) - Esprit Pharma
Treatment for overactive bladder
Described as S, snake, squiggle
Serophene (50 mg clomiphene) - Serono
Fertility drug
Described as S, white snake
Terbinafine 250 mg - Sandoz
Antifungal
White circle imprinted with T
Tessalon Perle (100 mg benzonatate) - Forest
Antitussive
Described as T-ball
Visicol (1.5 gram sodium phosphate) - Salix
Laxative
Described as II, double I
Xyzal (5 mg levocetirizine) - Sanofi-Synthelabo
Antihistamine
White oval tablet imprinted YY in red
Zanaflex (2 mg tizanidine) - Acorda Therapeutics
Muscle relaxant
Blue capsule imprinted 2 mg
Zanaflex (4 mg tizanidine) - Acorda Therapeutics
Muscle relaxant
Blue and white capsule imprinted 4 mg
Zanaflex (6 mg tizanidine) - Acorda Therapeutics
Muscle relaxant
Blue capsule imprinted 6 mg
Zegerid (40 mg omeprazole, 1100 mg sodium bicarbonate) - Santarus
Heartburn remedy
Blue and white capsule imprinted Santarus Logo 40
20 mg Zegerid capsule is white and imprinted Santarus Logo 20
Zomig ZDT Orally Disintegrating (2.5 mg zolmitriptan) - AstraZeneca
Acute migraine remedy
White circle imprinted Z
Zyprexa Zydis Orally Disintegrating (5 mg olanzapine) - Eli Lilly
Antipsychotic
Same round yellow tablet is available in 10, 15 or 20 mg dosage strength. Each tablet is imprinted with the milligram amount.
Page updated 04-27-12

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