How to Avoid Fake Drugs When Buying from an Online Pharmacy

February 18th, 2019 by

How to Avoid Fake Drugs When Buying from an Online Pharmacy

One of the biggest worries of consumers, especially when they are buying from online pharmacies is regarding the authenticity of the medicines. If the medicine that you purchase is counterfeit, your health condition may not only improve as expected but on the contrary, you could suffer from unexpected side effects, including allergic reactions, and actually experience a worsening of your medical condition.

Counterfeit Drugs – What Are They and What Do They Look Like

Counterfeit drugs are usually packaged in such a way so as to look like the actual branded or generic drugs. The most accurate way of establishing any drug as fake is by testing in a laboratory meant for that purpose. Since this is not something that can be readily done by normal customers, they should be alert to certain signs that may indicate that something may be wrong with the medicines that they have purchased. Red flags include poor quality of packaging and printing, labels that misspell the drug name or brand to a slight degree, poor grammar and spelling, color, smell, consistency, taste, etc. that is strange, tablets or capsules that are chipped, cracked or discolored, and cost very little in comparison to their usual price.

Avoid Fake Drugs

The best way of avoiding fake drugs is to buy from reliable and reputed pharmacies that are licensed in the U.S. If they accept cards then it acts as another layer of security as partner pharmacies are thoroughly vetted by them. When buying online, check for the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) seal. Check your medicines before consuming them for suspicious signs. Do not buy loose medicines even if they are very cheap.

What Should You Do When You Think You Have A Fake Drug?

If you suspect that you have purchased a drug that is counterfeit, you should not take it. Instead, present the medication to your usual pharmacist and inform him of your suspicion. Since the pharmacists are familiar with all the common drugs, they will be easily able to verify fake drug. It very well could be that the manufacturer has recently changed the packaging or the color/shape of the bottle, tablet or capsule or you may have simply been given another generic drug in place of the one you have been accustomed to. In case, your pharmacist also suspects that there is something wrong, you can report your fears to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by phoning them at 1-800-332-1088 or complain online using the FDA MedWatch program.


Regardless of whether you are buying medicines in America or abroad, it is essential to buy medications only against valid prescriptions from stores that are registered and reputed. Be extremely wary of deep discounts that are too good to be true. Upon receipt of your medicines, check them thoroughly for any suspicious signs that need to be investigated further and also examine the receipt to see that all the details of the medicines, as well as the pharmacy, are correct.

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