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How can I spot fake pills? (Accra)


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%.

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