Frequently Asked Questions

I am a pharmacy owner, how can Drug ID further assist my pharmacy and patients?

Drug ID is a technology that is patented, trademarked and can be licensed and incorporated into your own pharmacy’s software and/or app. Please email for more information.

Why do I have to crop the tablet before having the app search for a result?

The app technology recognizes color and that is what identifies the tablet you are searching for. The current version of the app at times will also recognize colors in the background and if the background area is too big it will try to use it as source data to identify your tablet. When you have not zoomed in far enough and still get a clear photo, it is best to crop the photo to help identify the tablet faster.

I take a lot of supplements and vitamins, why can’t Drug ID recognize some vitamins, supplements or over-the-counter (OTC)/nonprescription medications I take?

OTC/nonprescription medications are not all regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); more specifically, supplements and vitamins do not have to be processed through the FDA the same as other prescription medication drugs. Any drug that claims to “cure, prevent, or treat a disease” has to be regulated by the FDA. When a drug undergoes trials and is regulated under the FDA it is assigned an national drug code (NDC). Our app recognition is based on shape, color, and imprint on tablets and capsules. The imprint that is on a tablet or capsule is related to either the strength of the drug or the NDC. As vitamins and supplements do not get assigned an NDC they will not have an imprint and therefore will most likely not be differentiated by the app technology. Also some OTC/nonprescription medications (i.e., Tylenol, Advil, Claritin, etc.) depending on the brand and imprint may be recognizable. However, if the tablet is produced by a more generic manufacture (i.e. Walgreens, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, etc.) they may not have a registered imprint and therefore not have a recognizable tablet. As regulations for OTC/nonprescription drugs are less streamline and less regulated, there are less identifiers that separate different tablets.

How often is Drug ID updated with new medications?

We do a quarterly review of all new drugs and we update the database based on the new medications when relevant to the market.

What makes Drug ID different from other medication identification search engines?

Drug ID uses photo recognition to recognize your tablet and aid in the identification of your medication. Once a photo of a pill is taken, first color and shape are recognized. The user is then asked to confirm if the imprint that the computer recognized is correct or needs to be adjusted. What separates Drug ID is that it uses a learning technology; the more the technology is used the more accurate it becomes.

If the App takes me to “No Results” what happens from there and where does my information go?

If you chose to submit your results for further analysis, your data will be sent to the Drug ID technology team. From there we will look into why there were no results found and if anything can be done to improve the results. The technology may not recognize a user’s tablet if it’s not a part of the National Library of Medicine or is an international medication. Please email and our team will do our best to respond to each submission in a timely manner.

I am having trouble getting my camera to focus on the pill what do I do?

Try making sure that the lighting on the tablet that you are trying to identify is not too bright. The camera will autofocus by itself; try not to be too close to the tablet but zooming into the tablet is the best way to get a clear and focused image.

The search gave me some possible matches but not what I am looking for, what do I do?

Based on the image taken, Drug ID auto recognizes the imprint, color, and shape of the tablet and uses that for recognition of the drug. The shade of the tablet color can be slightly changed depending on the external lighting or the color of the background. The technology accounts for this, but the second variable is the positioning of the tablet when the imprint is read by the system. Some letters or numbers can be misinterpreted. If you submit a tablet and you are given possible matches but not what you are looking for try to use the options to edit imprint, color, or shape to better refine your search. If still no results are found, please feel free to submit this to our team at for further assistance.

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