Decoding the NDC#
The NDC is divided into three sections, either with spaces or dashes between them, and if you don’t get those spaces or dashes right, you’ll be looking at the wrong information.
The first part of the NDC, usually four or five digits, indicates the manufacturer.
The NDC is different for each manufacturer a company may have multiple NDCs. Sometimes there are zeroes at the beginning or end of the number, and those are important. Sun Pharmaceuticals, for example, uses 10631 and 47335, so if you see an NDC where the first five numbers are 10631, you know right away it’s made by Sun.
The second part of the NDC indicates the dosage and the form, and the third part indicates the size of the bottle it came in. The third part is the least important.
Here’s an example:
Every tablet of 25 mcg levothyroxine sodium by Lannet has an NDC of 00527-1341, with an additional two digits at the end indicating the number of tabs in the package. So the 100 count bottle is 00527-1341-01, and the 1000 count bottle is 00527-1341-10.
The 50 mcg tablets of levothyroxine sodium by Lannet has an NDC of 00527-1342-01 for the 100 count bottle. (The size of bottle refers only to the size as it comes to the pharmacy when they order and has nothing to do with the size of your prescription).
Mylan also makes levothyroxine, 25 mcg, with an NDC of 0378-1800-77 for the 90 tab bottle.
Each one can have different ingredients, as long as the active ingredient is the same. Different strengths of the same medication can have different inactive ingredients, and those inactives can change without notice.
Now that you know how to read an NDC, how do you use it? Hop on over to Managing Prescriptions with a Glycol Allergy for more info.