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Pharmacy/Identifying tablets


I take metformin ER 500mg tablets for Type 2 diabetes. I was filling my weekly pill box and ran out. After refilling my prescription I noticed the identification number on the two  tablets differed. I searched the internet to be sure the medication was the same. I may be mistaken but I thought all pills that are for the same thing, generic or otherwise would be coded the same, regardless of the pharmaceutical distributer. Both tablets look very similar, white and the same size and oblong shape.  One says IP 178(NDC 53746-178-05), the other ID is odd. The first number or letter is either 7 but looks more like an(upside down capital L)with L001 behind it.The NDC # on the 2nd bottle says NDC 67877-159-05. Are these both metformin?

Hi Cathy,
I can confoirm that the second bottle you have is Metformin Extended Release 500 mg by Ascend Laboratories. Each drug manufacturer has their own markings on their products. You can confirm the product at
Thank you for using Allexperts.
Eric Brandt, B.Sc. Pharm


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Eric Brandt


I am a practicing pharmacist.On my drug information website, I have answered hundreds of questions to date. The articles posted on my site include Parkinson`s disease. depression, menopause, diabetes, sleep and aging, congestive heart failure, calcium channel blockers, thyroid hormone replacement therapy, ADHD, multiple sclerosis an more.


I have experience in retail as well as hospital pharmacy pracice. Currently working in a hospital pharmacy. I am experienced in drug information. Over the last 6 years I have developed a successful web site for drug information.

The addressfor my drug information website is http://www.druginformation.bc.caThere you can read articles on varios areas of health interest. You can also leave me questions which I will personally answer. I also have a free health information newsletter called The Caplet. To subscribe send e-mail to

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