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Does the Color of A Pill Really Matter?


Physicians considering switching a patient’s generic drugs to brand name medication, listen up!

A new study from the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that any changes to a patient’s medication—as far as color, shape, or size—drastically reduces medication adherence or even if the patient will continue to take the medication at all!

Using a national database, researchers tracked prescriptions for eight, noted patients who stopped filling them, and checked to see if the medications’ colors had changed. In epilepsy patients, even short interruptions in

The study monitored 11,472 epilepsy patients using a national database that failed to fill their prescriptions for 8 types of anti-epileptic drugs after the color had changed and compared them to 50,050 control patients who continued to buy their pills. Even though missing or ceasing anti-epilepsy meds like these can cause seizures and serious health consequences, patients will medication color changes were 53-percent more prone to stop filling prescription medication.

“We’ve identified another hurdle to medication adherence and a relatively easy way to fix it,” says Dr. Aaron S. Kesselheim, lead author of the study and doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “…The color of a pill does have clinical relevance.”

Source: New York Times

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