Red and pink colour pills are most preferred over other colours,University of Bombay researchers have found.
Researchers have found that the colour, shape, taste and even name of a tablet or pill can have an effect on how patients feel about their medication.
R.K. Srivastava and colleagues surveyed 600 people for over-the-counter (OTC) medications and showed that for three quarters of people the color and shape of their tablets act as a memory tag for compliance.
Strangely, they found that 14 percent of people think of pink tablets as tasting sweeter than red tablets whereas a yellow tablet is perceived as salty irrespective of its actual ingredients.
As many as 11 percent thought of white or blue tablets as tasting bitter and 10 percent said orange-coloured tablets were sour.
"Patients undergo a sensory experience every time they self-administer a drug, whether it's swallowing a tablet or capsule, chewing a tablet, swallowing a liquid, or applying a cream or ointment," said the team.
"The ritual involving perceptions can powerfully affect a patient's view of treatment effectiveness," they added.
The findings were published in the International Journal of Biotechnology.