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What color are advil pm?

Advil PM is a common over-the-counter medication used as a sleep aid and for pain relief. The tablets are oval-shaped with a coating that gives them their distinctive color. But what exactly is the color of Advil PM tablets? Here’s a closer look at the coloring of this medication.

The Active Ingredients in Advil PM

To understand the color of Advil PM, it helps to first look at what’s inside the tablets. Advil PM contains two active ingredients:

  • Ibuprofen – a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces pain and inflammation
  • Diphenhydramine citrate – an antihistamine that causes drowsiness and helps you sleep

The ibuprofen is what gives Advil PM its pain-relieving effects. The diphenhydramine makes you feel sleepy, which aids sleep. The combination of these two medications provides both pain relief and sleepiness in one tablet.

Reasons for the Color Coating

Advil PM tablets have a coating for several reasons:

  • Masks unpleasant taste – The coating hides the bitter taste of the active ingredients inside
  • Easier to swallow – The smooth coating enables the tablet to slide down the throat more easily
  • Brand recognition – The distinctive color helps consumers easily recognize Advil PM
  • Aesthetics – The coating gives the tablet a more attractive, uniform appearance

The coating technology allows the tablet to have color for branding and visual appeal, while also making it easier to take. The color essentially makes the pill more consumer-friendly.

Advil PM Tablet Color

So what color are Advil PM tablets? Advil PM tablets are light pinkish-orange or peach-colored. Here’s a more detailed look at the coloring:

  • Pinkish hue – The tablets have a very light pink or pinkish tinge to them
  • Orange undertones – There are subtle peach or orange undertones noticeable up close
  • White speckles – Tiny white speckles are interspersed over the surface, from the coating process
  • Shiny appearance – The tablets have a glossy, shiny exterior sheen

The overall effect is a pill that is light pink-orange in color, with a bright, shiny appearance. While some describe it as salmon, peach, light orange, or just pink, most agree Advil PM tablets have a pinkish-orange hue.

Comparing Advil PM Tablet Color to Other Products

It can be helpful to compare the shade of Advil PM tablets to other common pinkish-orange items. Here are a few things that have a similar color:

Item Color
Salmon flesh Pink-orange hue
Cantaloupe Pale orange
Peach Orange-pink skin
Pink grapefruit Pale pinkish
Orange sherbet Light orange

Advil PM tablets are also a similar color to other common pinkish-orange pills and capsules like Tylenol PM and some probiotic supplements.

Advil PM Dye Ingredients

The specific dyes or pigments used to color Advil PM tablets are not publicly disclosed. However, here are some common dye ingredients used in pharmaceuticals:

  • Titanium dioxide – White pigment commonly added to coatings
  • Iron oxides – Added for reddish, orange, brown, and yellow hues
  • Aluminum lake colors – Derived from FD&C dyes like Red #40 or Yellow #6
  • FD&C Red #40 – Cherry red azo dye approved for drugs and food
  • FD&C Yellow #6 – Orange-yellow hue azo dye used in drugs

The combination of these types of pigments and dyes likely help give Advil PM tablets their light pink-orange appearance. The exact formula is proprietary to Pfizer, the manufacturer.

Advil PM Coating Contains No Dye

Some sources mistakenly claim that Advil PM tablets contain no dye at all in the coating. This is incorrect – while the dyes used are not disclosed, the tablets clearly contain coloring additives to give them their signature pinkish-orange hue.

It’s possible the “no dye” misconception comes from the term “film coating.” This refers to a thin polymer coating, not the lack of dyes/pigments. Rest assured Advil PM contains dyes to give it its color, which are considered safe and regulated.

Color Consistency Between Tablets

While the exact shade may vary slightly between production batches, overall Advil PM tablets maintain a consistent color profile. This color uniformity is important for:

  • Brand recognition – Consumers can easily identify the product by its color
  • Quality control – Consistent color indicates a standardized manufacturing process
  • Reduced confusion – Eliminates mistakenly taking the wrong medicine due to color variations

Strict quality control during manufacturing ensures each batch of Advil PM tablets exhibit the same light pinkish-orange hue.

Does the Color Indicate Strength?

For over-the-counter drugs like Advil PM, the color is primarily for branding and does not necessarily indicate strength. However, color can sometimes distinguish between dosages for prescription medications. Key points:

  • Brand recognition – The main role of Advil PM’s color is to identify the product
  • No strength indication – The light pink-orange hue does not correlate with the dose
  • Prescriptions may differ – Color sometimes denotes strength for prescription pills
  • Check markings – The dose is denoted by letters/numbers imprinted on tablets

So while Advil PM’s particular color does not signify strength, it’s always important to double check the dosage markings before taking any medication.

Impact of Color on User Experience

Interestingly, the light pinkish-orange hue of Advil PM tablets may have an impact on the user experience beyond just branding. Studies show that color can generate an emotional response and impact how medications are perceived:

  • Easier to swallow – Light, warm colors seem more approachable
  • Calming effect – Pink and peach hues feel gentle and soothing
  • Enhances efficacy – Color affects perceived effectiveness
  • Gets attention – Vibrant colors make items stand out more

By being distinctive but still soft, the Advil PM tablet color may improve the overall user experience and perception of the product.

Generic Versions May Vary in Color

Since the coating color is for branding, generics may appear different than Advil PM. For example:

  • Equate (Walmart) – Light blue oval tablets
  • Up & Up (Target) – Large white round tablets with “PM” imprint
  • Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club) – Dark pink capsule-shaped gel tabs

Always check labels carefully and consult with a pharmacist if unsure when purchasing generics. While the medication is the same, the shape, size, and color often varies.

Signs of Expired Advil PM Tablets

Discoloration or physical defects in Advil PM tablets can indicate expired or damaged product. Signs include:

  • Fading color – Tablet loses its vibrancy and appears dull
  • Spots or discoloration – Small dots or splotches appear
  • Chipping – The coating cracks, peels, or chunks off
  • Crumbling – Tablet is not intact and falls apart
  • Staining – Dark marks from contact with moisture or other pills

If Advil PM tablets exhibit any odd colors or deterioration, it’s best to not use them. Properly discard and obtain a new, sealed product instead.

Storage Tips to Preserve Color

Storing Advil PM properly helps maintain the integrity of the tablets and their pinkish-orange color. Here are some tips:

  • Use before expiration date – Take note of the expiry to ensure potency
  • Store in cool, dry place – Protect tablets from heat, humidity and moisture
  • Keep away from sunlight – Ultraviolet rays can cause fading
  • Leave in original container – Stopper bottles protect from air and light
  • Don’t mix with other pills – Direct contact can cause scuffing and color transfer

Following storage recommendations prevents Advil PM from unnecessary color changes before its time.


Advil PM tablets have a light pinkish-orange color intended to help consumers easily recognize the popular pain reliever and sleep aid. The distinctive peach/salmon hue comes from dyes and pigments in the tablet coating. While the exact shades may vary slightly between batches, overall Advil PM maintains the same orange-pink appearance.

The coloring has no correlation to the strength and is primarily for branding purposes. However, the warm and calming light pink tone may improve the user experience. So next time you reach for an Advil PM to help you fall asleep, take note of its unique pinkish coating as it smoothly glides down.