Database last update: 2017-May-18
Total tablet descriptions: 3693
Total capsule descriptions: 620
Health Canada Official Website
- Drug Product Database
- Licensed Natural Health Products Database
- Natural Health Products Exempted Products Database
- Prescription Drug List: atorvastatine, nifedipine (ex.: Lipitor, Lithane)
- Narcotic (CDSA I): alfentanil, amphetamine, buprenorphine, cocaine, codeine, dextroamphetamine, diphenoxylate, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, ketamine, lisdexamfetamine, meperidine, methadone, morphine, normethadone, opium, oxycodone, pentazocine, remifentanil, sufentanil (ex.: Adderall XR, Dexedrine, Vyvanse, Supeudol, Fiorinal C1/2, Tylenol No.1, Calmylin)
- Narcotic (CDSA II): cannabidiol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, nabilone (ex.: Sativex, Cesamet)
- Schedule G (CDSA III): methylphenidate, sodium oxybate (ex.: Biphentin, Concerta, Ritalin, Xyrem)
- Schedule G (CDSA IV): butalbital, butorphanol, nalbuphine, phenobarbital, testosterone, thiopental (ex.: Andriol, Androderm, Androgel, Bellergal Spacetabs, Fiorinal, Nubain, Pentothal, Testim)
- Targeted (CDSA IV): alprazolam, bromazepam, chlordiazepoxide, clobazam, clonazepam, clorazepate, diazepam, flurazepam, lorazepam, midazolam, nitrazepam, oxazepam, temazepam, triazolam (ex.: Ativan, Rivotril) + pipradrol (Alertonic) + zolpidem (Sublinox)
About Canadian Pill Identifier
As you know, in recent years a lot of generics were introduced on the Canadian market. As a result, the identification of thousands of different pills can be a very challenging task, even if you have a good memory. Therefore, I created this website in hopes it would help all Canadian healthcare professionals to learn about drugs commercially available in Canada and their appearance. The information found on this website is based on two databases:
1. The exact copy of Health Canada Drug Product Database
It contains precise information about product names, active ingredients, strength (mg, %), manufacturer name, etc. This database is updated monthly. Unlike the official version, my website allows for a much more extensive search and, in my opinion, is more convenient to use.
There's no charge or fee for using this website (by the way, it was a requirement of Health Canada to allow me to use their database). This website is neither supported by Health Canada nor is it made in collaboration with Health Canada. The information from the original database is left in its unaltered form.
2. A unique database containing text description of pills
The information in this database includes the description of tablets and capsules, such as imprint (including logo), shape, surface, score type, etc. I created this database myself with the help of my several colleagues in the pharmacy where I work. We meticulously described individual pills themselves or their photos. The information about the pill colors was taken from the product monographs in accordance with the Copyright Act of Canada (alinea 29, Fair Dealing for the purpose of education).
This approach allowed us to create a database with redundant details which are often omitted in the product monographs, such as surface type (flat, biconvex), score type (single, interrupted, cross), relative position of imprints (one above, near or inside the other).
It's worth mentioning that sometimes the description in this database is not the same as in the product monograph, particularly when it comes to a pill's shape. For example, on this website the elongated pills where opposite sides are not parallel are called "oval". In the monograph the same pill can be described as "ovaloid", "capsule-shaped", "caplet", "ellipsoidal" or "oblong".
The database contains mainly the description of pills that are dispensed in bulk (in vials). So, for example, the text descriptions of orally-disintegrating tablets or birth control pills are quite rare on this site since they are always dispensed in the original packaging.
Although we put all our efforts in keeping the information on this site accurate and up-to-date, there's no guarantee that all descriptions are 100% error-free. The differences can be accounted for several reasons:
- the appearance of the drug may have been changed by the manufacturer,
- there may be a mistake in the description,
- the imprint on the pills dispensed a long time ago may be scratched or not legible,
- there may be small differences that occurred when the description of any given pill was based on its product monograph, and not on the appearance of the pill itself, although such cases are extremely rare.
If you find any error(s) in pill descriptions, I strongly encourage you to report it by following the link "Report an error" near the description.
If you are a pharmaceutical company representative, you may have noticed a link to your company's corporate site on pages with detailed information about drug products manufactured by your company (in the section "External links" – see an example). If you don't see the link, please contact me and I will gladly add it on the site. We would also be happy to collaborate in any other way: for example, post photos of your drug products – which would further facilitate the identification of drugs marketed in Canada.