Did Rabeprazole pills change their appearance recently?
June 4, 2020 1:09 PM   Subscribe

A relative takes rebeprazole sodium 20 mg. The pills they received this month look different than they did before. I called the pharmacy who told me the pills changed, but honestly just sounded like they were blowing me off, so I'd like to confirm. Do you know that they changed (because you're a pharmacist or such) OR where can I check if they did?

Pill 1: Small, round, yellow says r20 on one side
Pill 2: Small, round, yellow, blank on both sides.

Not sure which is old and which is new. Pills look more or less the same other than writing -- I mean MAYBE the yellow is SLIGHTLY different or the size is SLIGHTLY different, but those differences aren't noticeable enough to have raised a flag if not for the writing change.
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
Is it a generic? Sometimes my pharmacy gets generic drugs from different places, and they tell me when I pick it up that it might look different than last time.
posted by jonathanhughes at 1:16 PM on June 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

If they’re generic, my pill bottles from Walgreens at least say who the generic manufacturer is.
posted by MadamM at 1:25 PM on June 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Any chance you could call back and talk to a different pharmacist?
posted by mekily at 1:25 PM on June 4, 2020

Many prescriptions will have a description of the physical pill on the label.
posted by tman99 at 1:34 PM on June 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Here are images of various manufacturers' versions of Rabeprazole Sodium Delayed-Release, if this helps at all. These are probably not the only versions available. I agree that the most likely thing is that the pharmacy has a different manufacturer's version in stock right now. It seems like many of them are different variations on round yellow pills (probably that's what the original brand-name version looked like).

If you do have access to the bottle the bottle probably has the manufacturer's name on it, although it probably doesn't say "manufactured by" or anything, you just have to know what you're looking for.
posted by mskyle at 1:35 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I take a common blood pressure medication and get generics, and the manufacturer and pill shape/color changes from time to time. Every time this happens the paperwork that comes with my refill has a description of the pill (color, shape, markings, etc.) and and explanation that this is the same medication, just from a different company. If you have the paperwork from the pharmacy you might have the same information.
posted by ralan at 1:38 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

If there is no imprint on it and you're in the US, something is wrong. Your prescription pills should have some kind of marking. Probably the manufacturer just failed to mark them, but this is definitely an issue to take up with the pharmacist to have the drugs replaced.
posted by hollyholly at 1:40 PM on June 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

I also get various company's versions of my generic meds and the look/are shaped differently. Do they have old bottles to compare? Mine does say "manufactured by" and then the manufacturer
posted by brainmouse at 1:45 PM on June 4, 2020

Generic rabeprazole manufacturers using the R20 marking: Sandoz Rabeprazole, Rabeprazole by Sivem "Each yellow, round, biconvex, enteric-coated tablet with "R20" printed on one side contains 20 mg of rabeprazole sodium." Sivem is a manufacturer of generic products in Canada. Agreeing with hollyholly - if your relative is filling their prescription in the US, the tablets should be marked; otherwise, small, round, yellow unmarked tablets are too similar to 81mg aspirin.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:47 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

There should be a package insert with the prescription, or alternatively you can Google it to find an online version. That insert will have a manufacturer contact line you can use to ask this exact question. This is a common question for pharmacists and manufacturers alike, and I understand the anxiety about trusting information from a busy pharmacy, so a call to the manufacturer may be a big relief.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 1:51 PM on June 4, 2020

I not in the U.S. I will check the bottle for manufacturer.

And I'm pretty Aspirin here say "Bayer 81" on them. Those aspirin looked much whiter than these pills. They're pale yellow, but unmistakably yellow.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:52 PM on June 4, 2020

Ok, both the old and new bottle list Sandoz as the manufacturer. The extra paperwork with the prescription has been discarded, but I found their number online. No answer.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:58 PM on June 4, 2020

I found this which says they should have the R20 on them....so what do I do?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:01 PM on June 4, 2020

Sandoz rabeprazole tablets appear blank at this Australian link. You could the pharmacy again, call a different pharmacy in the chain (if applicable), or try the prescribing doctor's office.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:13 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ok, I called my own location of the pharmacy (my mom's location is definitely a lesser pharmacy...service always sucks there). My pharmacist very kindly pulled out her bottle of the pills and A) they did not have R20 on them and B) they had a sticker on them saying the appearance had changed.

So all's well that ends well.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:23 PM on June 4, 2020 [9 favorites]

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