Which Materials Are Used in Pharmaceutical Packaging?

What are the main types of pharmaceutical packaging materials? Plastic, paper, glass, and ampoules are all examples. Listed below is a brief description of each pharma packaging solutions Connecticut. For more information, see our article on Ampoules. Metals are also used in drug packaging but are more expensive. While they are more durable, they are not stable with all liquids or solids. Metalized plastics and closures are also common. The most popular metals used in pharmaceutical packaging are aluminum and stainless steel. Paper and cardstock are both porous but can withstand solvents but are generally only used for secondary packaging and drug labels. Rubber is another material used for pharmaceutical packaging. Rubber can come from a natural or artificial source and is used in many different aspects, including package closures, plungers, and adhesives.


A vast majority of medicines do just fine packaged in glass or plastic. The composition of the material determines how well it will tolerate the active ingredients in the medicine. Pharmacists must record interactions between the drug and its packaging and also assess the potential for any adverse effects. In many cases, plastic is preferred because it is safer than glass. Nonetheless, this does not mean that all plastics are suitable for pharmaceutical packaging.


The primary packaging material for medicines is a package. It protects the materials inside. Usually, the primary packaging material is usually plastic, the most common type. However, alternative material for pharmaceutical packaging is paper, a natural fiber product derived from wood resources and cellulose fiber networks. This material has unique properties that make it a good fit for medical packaging but has limited applications in the pharmaceutical industry.


Pharmaceutical glass manufacturing companies have concentrated their operations in developed regions. These manufacturers have developed production systems and supply chains. However, some are shifting production to low-cost economies to boost productivity. The growing demand for pharmaceutical glass packaging in developing regions is expected to be primarily driven by the generic drug industry. 


Ampules are a type of dosage unit. They are typically used in pharmaceutical packaging and cannot be refilled once opened. They are also stored in slim pins or sealed sterile vials. Ampules are not intended for resale. They are packaged with a sterile cap and accompanying information sheet to ensure product safety. This information sheet is necessary for the patient’s safety when using a product.


Pharmaceutical products often contain metals in their packaging. A recent USP announcement will introduce a new chapter in the Pharmacopeial Forum devoted to metal packaging. The chapter will include standards for the construction and test methods for metal materials. The publication of the chapter is anticipated for PF 44 (2018). Metals are increasingly used in pharmaceutical packaging, as their durability and low cost make them an attractive option for manufacturers. 


While paper is no longer the primary packaging for pharmaceuticals, paperboard is still a significant part of the industry. Many pharmaceutical products are now packaged in cartons. They not only increase the display area of stock items but also provide physical protection to the packaging contents. Cartons are a traditional pharmaceutical packaging method. Read on to find out more about paperboard’s role in the industry. 

Glass ampoules

Glass ampoules are a commonly used form of packaging for pharmaceuticals. They are manufactured in several shapes and sizes. There are three types of ampoules: funnel-type, straight-stem, and sealed ampoules. These ampoules are cleaned, delivered open, and filled by the customer. They can be re-sealed. This type of ampoule is the world’s most common type of pharmaceutical packaging. In its manufacturing process, Amber glass protects sensitive contents from UV light.

Plastic ampoules

There are several types of plastic ampoules available on the market. Glass ampoules are typically smaller than plastic ampoules and are often used to deliver injectable medicines. A screw cap or dropper is usually used to secure the ampoule’s top. Plastic ampoules can either have a hinge cap or a flat bottom. They are the most common type of ampoule used in pharmaceutical packaging.

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