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Thread: Simple way to spot a fake pill

  1. #1

    Default Simple way to spot a fake pill

    This article I ran into a number of years back
    Didn't have a aurther but I found very interesting


    The best test you can do at home is to heat a small glassful of water to bath temperature Protected content and see if one of the pills dissolves completely in the water. This works because bath temperature is roughly human body temperature and all pills should dissolve in water at human body temperature, however counterfeiters sometimes use talc, dolomite, anhydrite, or gypsum to bind the pill together, and these substances do not dissolve well.

    Another test you can do at home is to drop part of the pill in vinegar. If the pills fizzes then that increases the likelihood that it is a fake. This is because the fizzing suggests it contains calcium carbonate as a 'filler'. Although it is used in genuine medicines as well sometimes as a harmless material to bulk out the pill, calcium carbonate is more often used in fakes because it is cheaper than starch (which is the filler ingredient more often used in genuine medicines).If you have access to a highly sensitive set of scales you could try comparing the weights of different pills in the batch that you have received. If the pills all weigh the same (to within 1%) then that is a good sign; the weight of pills in batches of fake medicines often varies, by as much as 10%.

    Regards

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by blueboy View Post
    This article I ran into a number of years back
    Didn't have a aurther but I found very interesting


    The best test you can do at home is to heat a small glassful of water to bath temperature Protected content and see if one of the pills dissolves completely in the water. This works because bath temperature is roughly human body temperature and all pills should dissolve in water at human body temperature, however counterfeiters sometimes use talc, dolomite, anhydrite, or gypsum to bind the pill together, and these substances do not dissolve well.

    Another test you can do at home is to drop part of the pill in vinegar. If the pills fizzes then that increases the likelihood that it is a fake. This is because the fizzing suggests it contains calcium carbonate as a 'filler'. Although it is used in genuine medicines as well sometimes as a harmless material to bulk out the pill, calcium carbonate is more often used in fakes because it is cheaper than starch (which is the filler ingredient more often used in genuine medicines).If you have access to a highly sensitive set of scales you could try comparing the weights of different pills in the batch that you have received. If the pills all weigh the same (to within 1%) then that is a good sign; the weight of pills in batches of fake medicines often varies, by as much as 10%.

    Regards
    I just did the second method described above and have ruled out some of the pills I suspected as fake...as FAKE!! I definitely recommend all users to try this and take a video or something if you want to send it back to the pharmacy and share with us as well.
    Likes Tbm, eggsbenedict liked this post

  4. Quote Originally Posted by blueboy View Post
    This article I ran into a number of years back
    Didn't have a aurther but I found very interesting


    The best test you can do at home is to heat a small glassful of water to bath temperature Protected content and see if one of the pills dissolves completely in the water. This works because bath temperature is roughly human body temperature and all pills should dissolve in water at human body temperature, however counterfeiters sometimes use talc, dolomite, anhydrite, or gypsum to bind the pill together, and these substances do not dissolve well.

    Another test you can do at home is to drop part of the pill in vinegar. If the pills fizzes then that increases the likelihood that it is a fake. This is because the fizzing suggests it contains calcium carbonate as a 'filler'. Although it is used in genuine medicines as well sometimes as a harmless material to bulk out the pill, calcium carbonate is more often used in fakes because it is cheaper than starch (which is the filler ingredient more often used in genuine medicines).If you have access to a highly sensitive set of scales you could try comparing the weights of different pills in the batch that you have received. If the pills all weigh the same (to within 1%) then that is a good sign; the weight of pills in batches of fake medicines often varies, by as much as 10%.

    Regards
    I just tried this with an MSJ clonazepam I thought was weak, but worked. It didn't fizz at all, just started slowly dissolving in the room temp white vinegar. I read MSJ clons were often counterfeited, but this seems real, if a bit weak.

    edited for spelling
    Last edited by eggsbenedict; 10-22-2018 at 10:39 AM.
    Helpful ludwig1961 Rated helpful
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  5. #4
    I am trying to decide if I have a bunch of fake clonazepam. I ordered them from an SY vendor and received two types: one white with two scores on one side. These look exactly like ones I've ordered from another vendor who is now out of business who I trusted. I also got some that were a darker pink color. I took one yesterday and I think it may just be fake or weak. I don't take them often but am a big fan of stock piling so not sure if they are fake or placebo. I do know that they're definitely not 2 mg as that would have put me on my ass!

    Maybe I'll try your method.

    BTW, what is MSJ?

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    @blueboy - thank you for this!

    Quote Originally Posted by ethom View Post
    BTW, what is MSJ?
    That's a brand of diazepam. Manufactured by a company called JL Morison Son & Jones.
    your friendly neighborhood PR transient and compulsive post editor (~formerly known as disasterwhisperer)

  7. Quote Originally Posted by millyeleven11 View Post
    I just did the second method described above and have ruled out some of the pills I suspected as fake...as FAKE!! I definitely recommend all users to try this and take a video or something if you want to send it back to the pharmacy and share with us as well.
    I recently believe to have received some fake pills. I still have them and think I might put this to the test. I had heard about the dissolving but not about the vinegar. I guess it’s back to chemistry class. Grabbing my goggles.
    Likes snowy liked this post

  8. #7
    Only just seen this, thank you, that's really interesting. (It would kind of hurt to waste a real one, though!)
    Likes M77 liked this post

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by FirTree View Post
    Only just seen this, thank you, that's really interesting. (It would kind of hurt to waste a real one, though!)
    Well, if you use the first test -- dissolving in warm water -- just drink the water!

    Heck, even if you use the second test (dissolving in vinegar) just drink the vinegar! Nothing wrong with that at all. I consume a lot of vinegar, albeit expensive aged balsamic stuff, on my salads...
    Helpful M77 Rated helpful
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    Not sure I would rely on this method as a good many legitimate pressed pills do contain pharmaceutical excipients (non medically active ingredients to bind, add volume, color, a coating or shine to pills). Some common ones are silica, starches, cellulose, stearic acid - bottom line, there are lots to choose from. They are easy to obtain and not expensive. So adding any given pill to just warm water may not totally dissolve it, whether legitimate or not, as stomach acids and the digestive system are accounted for when pills are designed and made for patient/consumer use.
    Helpful M77, bluu Rated helpful

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tycho View Post
    Well, if you use the first test -- dissolving in warm water -- just drink the water!

    Heck, even if you use the second test (dissolving in vinegar) just drink the vinegar! Nothing wrong with that at all. I consume a lot of vinegar, albeit expensive aged balsamic stuff, on my salads...
    You beat me to it. I honestly thought about holding on to any water samples, although as the next post says, this test is just a good start. I did not think about consuming plain vinegar, but I would toss the good stuff, like balsamic, or Apple Cider vinegar, on a salad, with a kick, but most of the better vinegars, that I see, or actually have, are not clear enough to observe.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Rob View Post
    Not sure I would rely on this method as a good many legitimate pressed pills do contain pharmaceutical excipients (non medically active ingredients to bind, add volume, color, a coating or shine to pills). Some common ones are silica, starches, cellulose, stearic acid - bottom line, there are lots to choose from. They are easy to obtain and not expensive. So adding any given pill to just warm water may not totally dissolve it, whether legitimate or not, as stomach acids and the digestive system are accounted for when pills are designed and made for patient/consumer use.
    Agree, nothing wrong with these quick and easy methods, as a start, but certainly not definitive. And if you life depends on it, definitive might be what’s really called for. I’m pretty sure the killer Fent, would dissolve just fine.
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  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by M77 View Post
    ... I did not think about consuming plain vinegar, but I would toss the good stuff, like balsamic, or Apple Cider vinegar, on a salad, with a kick, but most of the better vinegars, that I see, or actually have, are not clear enough to observe.
    True with 90+% of the vinegar that I use. My go-do balsamic is darker/more opaque than a heavy burgundy. But: the vinegar test suggested by @blueboy talks about observing fizzy pills. You could probably see that activity even if the vinegar weren't clear. You'd see the bubbles, and the pill might even float because of the bubbles.

    Or, just used clear distilled vinegar and when the test is over add that to the opaque vinegar of your choice and make that "salad with a kick" that you describe. Or, as would more likely be the case for me, with a ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
    Last edited by tycho; 01-24-2019 at 05:26 PM.
    Helpful M77 Rated helpful

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    @M77, I agree, fentanly (pure) would be soluble in water. I mentioned on another thread that there are cheap (under $10) test strips on ebay to check for the presence of fentanyl, a killer for sure.
    Helpful M77 Rated helpful

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Rob View Post
    @M77, I agree, fentanly (pure) would be soluble in water. I mentioned on another thread that there are cheap (under $10) test strips on ebay to check for the presence of fentanyl, a killer for sure.
    Good advice! If anyone has meds that they have doubts about, using your body for a test, is not the way to go. People OD on many counterfeit pills. I would take @Uncle Rob’s advice. If in doubt, test it. Consuming it is really dangerous.
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  15. Why do they use fentanyl to counterfeit pills? Is it that much cheaper than the real medication that is less powerful? I just can not see why someone would want to place pills that can kill. When I got an order of bunk pills and the vendor vouched that they were real, I did use my body as the test lab. I only took a portion and I made me sleepy and I did not remember what I did or say for about an hour. Would that have been fentanyl?

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    @TruWalley, my opinion springs from mostly guesswork and hearsay but, as I understand it, yeah, it's very cheap to manufacture. Because it is so powerful, a little goes a long way -- it's measured in micrograms whereas most PKs are measured in milligrams. So transportation and storage are more economical, too. With all the negative publicity the past couple of years, I think people have become more wary of the danger, but not too long ago fentanyl's deadly power was actually an attraction for some people into heavy recreational use, and they were glad to hear it had been used as a cut -- they believed they could handle it, of course.

    The only way to know what, if anything, was added to the pills you got is to test them--but please, not with your own body! The only question that will answer is whether they were fatal to you--because even if you survive, you still won't know what they actually are!

    As other people mentioned, you can buy test kits on eBay, Amazon, etc. Apparently, some are just for fentanyl; there are also some decent little kits that test for a variety of substances. They are not very expensive, with some running well under $50 including shipping.
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  17. Quote Originally Posted by blueroan17 View Post
    @TruWalley, my opinion springs from mostly guesswork and hearsay but, as I understand it, yeah, it's very cheap to manufacture. Because it is so powerful, a little goes a long way -- it's measured in micrograms whereas most PKs are measured in milligrams. So transportation and storage are more economical, too. With all the negative publicity the past couple of years, I think people have become more wary of the danger, but not too long ago fentanyl's deadly power was actually an attraction for some people into heavy recreational use, and they were glad to hear it had been used as a cut -- they believed they could handle it, of course.

    The only way to know what, if anything, was added to the pills you got is to test them--but please, not with your own body! The only question that will answer is whether they were fatal to you--because even if you survive, you still won't know what they actually are!

    As other people mentioned, you can buy test kits on eBay, Amazon, etc. Apparently, some are just for fentanyl; there are also some decent little kits that test for a variety of substances. They are not very expensive, with some running well under $50 including shipping.
    Thank you for posting this information for me and pointers about the test kits. . It makes sense why they would use the stronger substance. I will make sure to not use my body again for testing and will get some of the test kits for the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruWalley View Post
    I recently believe to have received some fake pills. I still have them and think I might put this to the test. I had heard about the dissolving but not about the vinegar. I guess it’s back to chemistry class. Grabbing my goggles.
    LOL, this is one time when an "unintended consequence" is a good thing, not bad! The Jeffersonian ideal of life-long learning is a huge part of the USA's foundation, although it seems to be somewhat faded and forgotten these days.

    However, to be smart about self-medication and/or supplementation requires one to brush up on not just chemistry but biology and mathematics, too. A physics review can't hurt, since we are so frequently talking about effect and side effect. Human anatomy, your body's general and specific nutritional requirements, and no doubt another half dozen items that aren't coming to mind just now. (Wow, it just occurred to me that the last time I looked at most of this stuff seriously was way back in undergrad school... a very long time ago... for instance, being able to "read" somebody's DNA was still a fairy tale idea, LOL !)

    AND... since of course we wish to share all our burgeoning knowledge (whilst seeking ever more ), it's probably a grand idea to brush up on basic grammar & spelling skills before we present them to the whole world via this forum!
    Just sayin'.
    Last edited by blueroan17; 01-27-2019 at 06:10 AM.
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    That's interesting to know. I would like to some times test the ones I get from a pharmacy, one brand is by Rhodes. I feel like they are mostly a placebo. I can take any other companies brand of pain medicine and feel the relief but this one, I tried and I still had pain where it was intolerable so I asked my pharmacist to go back to the other brand. But I wonder if there is a way ( if i knew a chemist) to see what levels are in those ones from Rhodes. There was article a while ago that Walmart pharmacies uses them and people were complaining too for the same reason. But this advice is good to know. Knowledge is power.

    - - - Updated - - -

    They just had a show on about fake pills and they caught the guy who had a garage full of them . In fact his own fiance overdosed on his pills that had fentanyl in them. So this news team found the pills he had in bulk were from China and when they called and told them over 20,000 people died from them, the girl said they don't know how to use them. Well, no one expected fentenyl in them either. He tried to place an order and she said no, we don't know you and I missed the part that he must have wanted to try a small order and again was declined. Then they showed the customs area and where they were spotting the medication coming in and the agents said they just could not catch each shipment as there is just so much to check for etc.

  20. Simple way to spot a fake pill

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