The Real Reason Prescription Pill Bottles Are Orange

The Real Reason Prescription Pill Bottles Are Orange

It might be hard to believe, but there is a very specific reason why modern prescription bottles are orange. It is also why some prescription bottles have opaque labels. As Rx Saver explains, these design choices were made to protect the medication in the bottles from ultraviolet light. UV radiation is a naturally occurring form that can damage medication.

The UV light can cause chemical changes that can make the medication less effective. These alterations may also result in side effects and/or different effects for the body. Some medications are more sensitive to sunlight (or photosensitive), but orange bottles can help protect the medication from degradation. It’s an important enough issue that a study highlighting the need for rapid response UV degradation testing was published in Chemistry & Chemical Technology in 2011.

Another study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Care and Sciences in 2018 suggested that LED light may also degrade medications. Researchers are still investigating the effects of LED lighting on medications. However, they found that brown plastic bags prevented any color changes or signs of degradation. The orange bottle will protect our prescriptions from the UV light and ensure that we get what we want.

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