Patients May Be Judging A Pill By Its Color

Patients Judging A Pill By Its

Does the appearance of your medication matter? According to the results of a study in Food Quality and Preference, it does.

People who look at a pill think they can tell a lot from the medicine from its color and shape. In this study, participants in the US, Columbia and China revealed similar expectations about their medications based on these properties.

It confirmed the results of previous studies conducted in this area, which found that consumers are influenced by these expectations. In 2014, a study found that switching from the name-brand medication to a generic version, which usually has a different color, causes some people to stop taking their medication entirely.

This outcome is definitely not a positive one, since we know that medicines provide absolutely no benefit to patients if they either are not taken or are taken incorrectly.

Medication Appearance Influences Consumers

In a recent study conducted in China, participants were asked to look at photos of pills online. It involved 97 people from the US, with an average age of 33. The images of the medications were round, diamond-shaped and oval and in seven colors, including white. The participants were asked to rate each pill based on the following:

  • Anticipated bitterness
  • Ease of swallowing
  • Effect on mental alertness
  • Effect on headache pain

Participants determined that light-blue pills were the least bitter and red and light-red pills were most mentally-stimulating. White ones were most effective overall. Light green were least effective for headaches. Diamond-shaped pills were the hardest to swallow, according to the participants.

A second study was conducted, involving participants in their 20s and 30s from the US, China and Columbia. All three groups of people determined that the white pills were the best choice for dealing with headaches, and the diamond-shaped ones were hardest to swallow. Color was a factor only for the Chinese participants. They saw the red and blue ones as harder to swallow than the other colors presented to them.

There is a difference in looking at images of pills than tasting and swallowing the real item. Researchers noted that age and previous experience has an effect on a person’s expectations.

Benefits Of Topical Pain Relief Gels Over Pills

There are definite benefits of topical pain relief gels over standard pain pills. Taste and appearance of the medication is not a factor and negative reactions occur much less often. The medication gets where it is needed quickly and starts to work immediately to bring pain relief to the patient.

Contact Us Today To Learn More About Your Pain Relief Options
From A Compounding Pharmacy!

About Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding. He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Read More About Matthew Poteet, PharmD