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Understanding the Right Materials for Your Pharmaceutical Labels

Find out more about the importance of choosing the right materials for labelling your pharmaceutical products.

When it comes to labelling your pharmaceutical product, there are two key factors you need to consider. The first is making sure that the information you provide is accurate and printed correctly on your label.

The second is the materials used to create the label.  Choosing the right material for your pharmaceutical label is essential to ensuring that the label remains durable for the lifespan of the product so that the information is always available for the consumer to access. 

For example, if the product has a shelf life of 2-3 years, but the label warps, fades, or peels
in 6 months making the details regarding dosage or instructions illegible, the consumer will not be able to continue to use it.  
In this blog, we explore the practical qualities a pharmaceutical label should have and the
range of available materials.

What practical qualities do pharmaceutical labels need?

To understand which materials are best for your pharmaceutical labels, first, you need to
know what durable qualities they need. 

No matter whether your product is an over-the-counter medication or laboratory
equipment, your labels need to be able to withstand a wide range of conditions and
temperatures, including:

  • Moisture/humidity and submersion
  • Chemical exposure
  • Rough-textured surfaces
  • High and low temperatures
  • UV light/radiation

Another important consideration is that the label cannot be produced from materials that could potentially contaminate your product. 

What materials are best for pharmaceutical labels?

The different materials available for pharmaceutical labels include various types of polypropylene and paper stocks with matt or semi-gloss finishes. Each type can be applied with extra-strength adhesive to prevent your label from being removed easily. 

Paper labels 

Paper labels are one of the most commonly used label materials in the pharmaceutical industry. They offer simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and ease of printing. However, their suitability depends on the requirements of the product.

  • Cost-effective for large production runs
  • Compatible with a wide range of printing methods
  • Suitable for products with short shelf lives where durability is less of a concern
  • Susceptible to moisture, humidity and other factors that could lead to label damage
  • Limited resistance to chemicals, solvents, and abrasion.
  • Not ideal for products that require long-term storage or expose to harsh conditions
For these reasons, paper labels are better suited to pharmaceutical products with a short shelf life, such as over-the-count medication and disposable medical supplies.


Polypropylene labels offer enhanced durability and resistance to environmental factors compared to paper labels. They are commonly used for pharmaceutical products that require extended shelf life or exposure to challenging conditions. Polypropylene labels are available in white, clear, or silver, which each has its benefits.

  • Resistant to moisture, humidity, and temperature fluctuations 
  • Excellent chemical and solvent resistance 
  • Enhanced durability and abrasion resistance
  • Polypropylene provides a degree of flexibility for cylindrical or curved products making it easier to apply.
  • High cost compared to paper labels 
  • Limited compatibility with certain printing methods 

Polypropylene labels are recommended for pharmaceutical products that are stored in humid or damp environments, as well as those that require exposure to chemicals or solvents. They are suitable for bottles and containers that need to withstand transportation and handling.
Pure Logical label created by Premier Labels

Pharmaceutical labelling services from Premier Labels 

Producing regulatory-compliant pharmaceutical labels that are suitable for your product can be a time-consuming and difficult process. 

That’s where Premier Labels come in. 

To find out more about how we can help create the highest-quality pharmaceutical labels for your product, contact our team today, we’re on hand to help.

What Information Should Be Included on Pharmaceutical Labels?

Just as with any packaged item, pharmaceutical products need to have appropriate labels.

Elevating Pharmaceutical Safety: Comprehensive Labelling Solutions from Premier Labels

Premier Labels are specialist pharmaceutical label suppliers. Discover their labelling capabilities ensuring.

What are embossed labels and are they right for you?

Keen to boost your products’ shelf presence? Then you need designs that stand out from the crowd – literally.


Want to discuss how we can help your next product?

Contact us