What are the best practices for designing pharmaceutical labels?

When a patient is prescribed a drug by a medical professional, a level of trust is invested in the labeling of the product and they will naturally follow the instructions which are given on the packaging. Although a pharmaceutical label tends to be small in size and doesn’t contain much room for information, there is a range of details that must be included to comply with legislation. The FDA has a range of standards that state that information from warnings to directions need to be included and a general layout guide is given to ensure a provider can comply. To find the right balance between accurately detailing the drug on hand and making it concise enough for patients to use correctly, here is the general outline which should be followed:

  • A summary of the medication should be at the forefront of the design and the symptoms it is designed to help with should be written (without using promotional language) to ensure it is the right drug for the patient. Upon first glance, it should be immediately obvious what the medical condition that the drug is designed to treat is.
  • A thorough ingredient list stating every active and inactive ingredient used to create the drug should be available to make patients aware of what they are consuming and to provide information to those suffering from allergies.
  • Key usage information should include how often to take the medication, how to measure the right dose, and any other guidance such as taking the drug on a full stomach. Directions for use should be clear and concise so the patient can use the medicine correctly, avoiding accidental misuse and ensuring they get the best possible results.
  • Any associated warnings should be disclosed on the pharmaceutical labels. Everything from potential side risks to exemptions, such as those who are pregnant or lactating, should be stated in clear text to ensure they are easily visible and are read before consumption.
  • If the way a drug is stored has the potential to impact results, it should be made clear how to best store the product. Some drugs are sensitive to light, moisture, or heat, so guidelines should be provided on how best to store the product when not in use.

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