Glass has been widely used as a drug packaging material. For a large number of pharmaceuticals, including medicinal products for oral and local administration, glass containers are usually the first choice (e.g. bottles for tablets, injection syringes for unit- or multidose administration). Different types of glass may be necessary, depending on the characteristics and the intended use of the medicinal products concerned.

Advantages of glass:
• It allows easy inspection of the containers contents
• It is available in variously shaped containers

Disadvantage of glass:
• It is fragile
• It is expensive when compared to the price of plastic

GLASS Composition
  • Silica (SiO2) 59-75 %
  • Calcium oxide (CaO) 5-12 %
  • Sodium oxide (Na2O) 12-17 %
  • Alumina (Al2O3) 0.5-3.0 %
  • Other oxide :
  1. Barium oxide (BaO)
  2. Boric oxide (B2O2)
  3. Potassium oxdie (K2O)
  4. Magnesium oxide (MgO)
Manufacturers should arrange with their suppliers to obtain the appropriate type of glass container for the intended use. Suppliers should provide the raw and packaging materials in conformity with industrial norms.

Glass containers are classified according to their hydrolytic resistance
  • Type I Glass : Neutral glass, with a high hydrolytic resistant due to the chemical composition of the glass itself.
  • Type II Glass : usually of soda-lime-silica glass with a high hydrolytic resistance resulting from suitable treatment of the surface.
  • Type III Glass : Soda-lime glass usually of soda-lime-silica glass with only moderate hydrolytic resistance.
Glass type and recommendation for used
  • Type I glass : suitable for most preparations whether or not for parenteral use, widely used as glass ampoules and vials to package
  • Type II glass : suitable for most acidic & neutral, aqueous preparations whether or not for parenteral use.
  • Type III glass : general suitable for non-aqueous preparations for parenteral use, for powders for parenteral use (except for freeze-dried preparations) and for preparations not for parenteral use.
Glass and recommendation for used
  • Except for type I glass containers, glass containers for pharmaceutical preparation are not to be re-used
  • Containers for human blood and blood components must not be re-used.

Ampoule :
• One point cut ampoules
• Flat Based and constricted neck ampoule
• Flame cut ampoules
• Closed ampoules
• Ampoules with colour break band and identification bands

Used in the dispensary as either amber metric medical bottles or ribbed (fluted oval bottles. Available in sizes from 50 ml to 500 ml
• Amber metric medical bottles are used for packaging a wide range of oral medicine
• Ribbed oval bottle attached are used to package various product that should not be taken orally
• This include liniment, lotionsm inhalations and antiseptic solutions

Droplet bottles
• Eye drop and dropper bottles for ear and nasal use are hexagonal-shaped amber glass container fluted on three sides
• They are fitted with a cap, rubber teat and dropper as the closure. The bottles are used at a capacity of 10 ml or 20 ml

• Powders and semisolid preparations are generally packed in wide mouthed cylindrical jars made of clear ot amber glass
• Jars varies from 15ml to 500 ml
• Jars are used for packing prepared ointments and pastes