Common Imprints

Analgesics

Pharmer.org has compiled many drug identification imprints of common opioid painkiller medicines such as hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco, Vicoprofen), morphine (MS Contin, Avinza, Oramorph), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicodone), propoxyphene (Darvocet) and tramadol (Ultram).

Narcotic analgesics are pain relievers that work on the central nervous system (CNS) to alter the perception of pain. When used for surgery and acute or chronic painful conditions, narcotic analgesics are safe and effective, carrying relatively little risk of addiction.

Because narcotics work on the CNS, they can cause dependency if used for long periods of time. In the United States in recent years, the media have reported increasing addictions to prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin.

Benzodiazepines

Many pill identification imprints are provided for four of the benzodiazepine class of drugs - alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan). Pharmer.org will continue to compile pill identifier numbers for the benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants. They are used for the short-term relief of anxiety, insomnia, sedation, muscle relaxation and treatment of seizures. These drugs are sometimes referred to as minor tranquilizers.

As with narcotic analgesics, long-term use of benzodiazepines can result in tolerance and dependency. Because of the serious withdrawal syndrome associated with this class of drug, benzodiazepines should never be stopped abruptly. It is recommended that the dosage be slowly tapered down.

Muscle Relaxants

Many drug imprints are listed for four skeletal muscle relaxants - carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), metaxalone (Skelaxin) and methocarbamol (Robaxin). We will continue to add pill identification numbers for the centrally-acting muscle relaxants.

Skeletal muscle relaxants work in the central nervous system to produce their muscle relaxant effects. These drugs have no direct effect on the muscles themselves. Muscle relaxants are used, along with rest and physical therapy, to treat injuries and other painful muscular conditions.

In the US carisoprodol is sometimes abused, probably because it metabolizes into meprobamate, an anti-anxiety drug. As a result, some states have scheduled carisoprodol, making it harder to obtain. Carisoprodol remains unscheduled by the federal government.

Antidepressants

We've compiled some pill identification imprints for four of the SSRI class of antidepressants - citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft).

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are antidepressants that work by increasing serotonin in the brain to maintain a stable mental state.

The SSRIs are used to treat many disorders besides depression. Doctors prescribe this class of drug to treat obsessive-compulsive behavior, general anxiety, premenstrual syndrome and some eating disorders.

Other classes of antidepressants are the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as Nardil (phenelzine) and tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil (amitriptyline). The MAOIs are seldom used since they have many food and drug interactions, and the tricyclics are not prescribed as often as the SSRIs because they have more side effects.

The antidepressant drug labels are now required by the FDA to have a "black box" warning that describes the increased risk of suicidality in children and adolescents given antidepressant medications. A "black box" warning is the FDA's most serious warning.

Appetite Suppressants

Pharmer.org recently added several pill identification imprints for two diet drugs - phentermine (Apidex) and phendimetrazine (Bontril).

Appetite suppressants are CNS stimulants that can elevate blood pressure and heart rate. Anorectic pills apparently work by "turning off" the hunger signal in the brain. These pills are used for the short-term management of obesity together with proper diet and exercise.

Since appetite suppressants are chemically related to amphetamines, there is a possibility for abuse.

Sedatives

Pharmer.org plans to add pill imprint information for a few of the sedative/hypnotic drugs. We started with zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) since these generics are very new to the US market.

In April 2007 the US Food and Drug Administration gave approval to several generic companies to manufacture immediate-release zolpidem tartrate (generic Ambien). At this time 15 companies received approval and several are actively marketing the generics.

Zolpidem is a fast and short acting non-benzodiazepine drug used for the treatment of insomnia. Zolpidem is considered a sedative/hypnotic drug and is indicated for short-term treatment of insomnia, generally two weeks. It is a Schedule IV medicine meaning the drug carries a risk of addiction and/or dependence if taken for a long period of time or in larger doses than prescribed.

In March the FDA requested stronger warnings on the sedative/hypnotic class of drugs. Some potential risks are severe allergic reactions or driving while under the influence of these medicines. Less serious problems are also documented - making phone calls, shopping and performing other activities with no recollection of the events later.

Page updated 05-28-07