Pharmacy labels clearly indicate important information about the prescription medication to enhance safe drug administration. They detail vital information such as the prescribing physician, the patient’s name, dosage instructions, the name and strength of the drug, and much more. Pharmacy labels also contain information about side effects, restrictions, and proper administration. 

Pharmacy labels are essential to ensure proper patient care in hospitals, nursing homes, physician’s offices, and other healthcare facilities. Mislabeled or unlabeled medications can cause liability issues for healthcare providers.

Materials in Pharmacy Labels

Packaging or containers that come into contact with the product must meet strict health safety standards. But since pharmacy auxiliary labels don’t come into contact with the drug, they are not as closely regulated. 

Pharmacists and drug manufacturers can use a wide variety of materials to label the exterior of the medicine package, including holographic films, standard white paper stock, shrink sleeve labels, and more.  

Multi-layer labels are common in healthcare and pharmaceutical products because they are required to display large amounts of information. To enhance product safety, you should consider choosing coatings, adhesives, and inks with low migration characteristics, meaning the material will not transfer the substances to the drug. 

Types of Pharmacy Labels

There are several types of pharmacy labels, each of which provides different types of information about the drug and its use. Label types include;

  • Storage expiration labels: This label shows the period when the medication’s active ingredient or excipient can be expected to maintain its potency. It details the date opened and storage requirements, among other information. 
  • USP 800 labels: These labels are designed for the clinical staff so that they can handle HDs accurately and safely. The label contains information on storage, shipping, and disposal and instructs proper PPE usage.
  • PIS labels: PIS labels provide clear images for accurate barcode or QR scanning to ensure that the product is authenticated. They also connect with the pharmacy information system (PIS), which records, manages, and stores your medical data. This data is then used for patient decision support, re-ordering, reporting, and billing. 
  • Medication instruction labels: This type of label guides patients and clinical staff on the proper dispensing methods for the medication. They are effective in reducing medicine mix-ups and ensure there are no errors when administering the drug by clearly stating when and how to take the medicine. 
  • Communication labels: These labels primarily list the details of the medication’s dosage and the necessary safety procedures.
  • Medication flag labels: These labels wrap around hard-to-label packaging and vials to provide easily located instructions and alerts. For example, if a manufacturer makes a significant change to a non-prescription drug, they need to include a medication flag label on the product for six months.

Important Design Considerations

Due to the scientific nature of medications, many people have a difficult time reading and understanding medication labels, which can lead to medication errors. When designing your pharmacy label, it is vital to note that the design must be able to be understood by all people, especially for patients with chronic conditions and senior adults. Depending on whether you are designing over-the-counter drug labels or prescription drug labels, here are some important design considerations that you should keep in mind.

  • Prescription label size: Patients must be able to read the prescription label text.
  • Layout information: A good design layout helps improve comprehension when reading the label.
  • Color and graphics: Visuals help to emphasize the text and draw attention to important information.
  • Clear verbiage: Ensure that phrasing is clear to avoid misleading details.

Label Making with Technicode

Unlike pharmacy packaging, which is heavily regulated, you have more freedom with your prescription labels. However, it is important to obtain high-quality labels to ensure that patients and clinical staff alike easily understand the information to avoid accidental drug misuse. 

Technicode Inc. is a leading supplier of top-quality thermal printing supplies all over the United States. We offer a wide variety of custom blank, direct thermal labels, or printed thermal transfer, with printing up to six colors. Depending on your needs, pharmacy labels can be converted into rolls, sheets, fan-folded, or piggybanks. Labels are made to work with most major brand printers such as Zebra-r, Datamax-r, Intermec-r, Sato-r, Avery-r and many more printers.

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