The specific types of containers used for pharmaceutical products have to be carefully selected. They need to be able to protect the medications contained within the packaging as well as to add to the marketing and overall visibility of a particular product.
In addition, a pharmaceutical container may also be designed for specific populations. This could include easy open types of bottles and containers that are appropriate and approved for use for patients with arthritis or for seniors. There is also a need for most containers to include child-resistant and tamper-evident types of caps and seals.
For most medications, there will be a primary packaging unit and this unit will be inside a pharmaceutical container. For example, cold tablets are usually sold in blister packs. The blister packs are the primary packaging while the container itself is typically made of cardboard with or without windows.
Some items, such as tablets, capsules or pills may be sold only in primary packaging. In this case, the pharmaceutical container will have direct contact with the medication. Many of the over-the-counter medications are sold in this form, as are many of the medications supplied directly to hospitals. Pharmacies will dispense prescription medication using these types of pill bottles or containers.
Today, the most common type of material used for bottles for medications is plastic. Plastic can be transparent or opaque to protect medications, if necessary, from exposure to light.
Glass, while still used with some medications, is less common than in the past. Glass can degrade with the presence of specific chemicals and compounds and tiny shards of glass have, in the past, been found in some medications sold in glass bottles.
Rubbers and metals can also be used, but it will be important to consider any possible reaction between the medication and the packaging material. Knowing the type of container as the primary packaging for any medication will take research and testing.
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