Types of Primary Packaging in Pharmaceuticals : Pharmaguideline

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Types of Primary Packaging in Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical products are packed in different pharmaceutical primary packaging like ampules, vials, strips, blisters, syringes etc.
Packaging is one of the most important parts of the pharmaceutical industry. The packaging ensures the protection of drug during the sale, storage, and use. Objectives of packaging are containment, physical and chemical protection, portion control, and security of the drug. Packaging in the pharmaceutical packaging companies at different levels i.e. primary, secondary and tertiary.

Primary packaging is also known as sales packaging. Primary packaging is of great significance in pharmaceuticals. Because primary packaging is in the direct contact with the drug, so it is supposed to be inert and shouldn't cause any alteration in the chemical composition of the dosage.

Different type of primary packaging:
  • Ampoules
  • Vials
  • Containers
  • Strip package
  • Blister Packaging
  • Syringe
  • Dosing Doppler
  • Sachet Packaging
Primary Packaging
Ampoules: It is a small container made of glass and sometimes plastic. It is used for packaging of the liquid sample. The amp is the abbreviation used for ampoules in parenteral packaging.

Vials: It is a glass or plastic container used to contain liquid, solid or powder dosage form. The vials are comparatively bigger than the ample in size and capacity.

Strip Packaging: It is the form of packaging in unit dosage. The advantage of strip packaging is that the shelf life of dosage is increased, and each content is protected individually.

Blister package: A cavity is made in a thermoformed plastic, the drug in the form of a tablet or capsule is kept in the cavity, and it is sealed on the open side with plastic or aluminum foil.

Type of packaging to be used depends on the form and chemical composition of the drug. For capsules and tablets, most commonly used packaging is Blister, Strip, and Alu-Alu. These packagings are manufactured with the inert pharmaceutical packaging material like aluminum and PVC.

For the liquid form, high quality of plastic or glass is used. Bottles manufactured with plastic have some issues of safety with them. Because many pharmaceutical products can react with the plastic and a dangerous chemical reaction can occur. Which causes harm to the health of person instead of benefits.

Another option is glass, it is widely accepted due to its chemically inert nature but the glass is fragile. It can be broken during transportation, that's why it needs to be handled carefully.

Materials used in Primary Packaging as per packaging styles
1. Glass: It is the most commonly used material for primary packaging. Because glass is chemically inert and inspection of the content in the container is very easy. But the disadvantage of using glass is its delicacy and cost as compared to plastic. The glass is used to manufacture vials, ampoules, dropper bottles, and jar.

2. Plastic: It is used as the primary as well as secondary packaging of the pharmaceutical product. The plastic used is Ploy ethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, and polystyrene. The benefit of using plastic is that it is flexible, low weight and cost-effective. But the drawbacks of using plastics are the low level of inertness compared to glass and permeability to vapor and gas.

3. Metal: Type of metal used are steel, aluminum, and alloys of aluminum. Metal is mainly used to pack the dosage in gel forms. But metals have the problem also of chemically reactive. So Tin or Tin plated steel is used, because of low reactivity of tin as compared to other metals.

Anuj Pathak
Assistant Professor
KIET School of Pharmacy
Ghaziabad, India

Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of pharmaguideline.com, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
.moc.enilediugamrahp@ofni :liamENeed Help: Ask Question

5 comments: Post Yours! Read Comment Policy ▼

  1. Please explain about the Michaelis Menton suggestions with respect to large volume parenterals packaging... Please

  2. Love your concept. This is very unique and informative. Thanks.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this information with us. Really helpful. Almost explained all the important points related to this topic in a short time. Packaging is always important as products. Good packaging attracts customers. In addition, manufacturers use several container closure integrity test methods before dispatching the products.

  4. This information is in unique way,I love it,and please give more information.


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