Understanding Medicinal Codes

Medicines are labelled with certain coding system and it is important for us, as consumers, to understand what the codes mean to ensure proper and safe consumption.


Let’s take a look at this coding system. For instance, a medicine labelled with registration number DBL 8630402711B1 means:

D : Stands for the trademark or patented name of the medicine

B : Stands for “bebas” or “free”, meaning the medicine can be consumed without a doctor’s prescription

L : Stands for “local”, meaning locally made (in Indonesia)

86 : The medicine’s registration year is 1986 – 1988; or the medicine was produced within this period

304 : The number of the factory producing the medicine

11 : Indicates the format of ready-made medicine

B : Indicates the capacity of the medicine that has been approved

1 : Indicates the main packaging


Another indicator is the circle presented at the packaging:

•  Green circle with black edge: Over-the-counter medicine

•  Blue circle with black edge: limited over-the-counter, usually it is also labelled with a cautionary warning because it contains hard drugs in a limited amount. There are several types:

P1: Cautionary! Hard drug. Read the guidelines

P2: Cautionary! Hard drug. Gurgle only, don’t swallow

P3: Cautionary! Hard drug. For external use only.

P4: Cautionary! Hard drug. For smoking only.

P5: Cautionary! Hard drug. Don’t swallow

P6: Cautionary! Hard drug. Hemorrhoid medicine, don’t swallow.

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