Why Are These Medications Dispensed in Their Original Containers?

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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When you pick up your medications at the pharmacy you may notice that they are typically dispensed in amber colored vials or plastic containers. You may or may not be aware that these amber colored vials are not the original bottle the manufacturer dispensed the medication in.

For the majority of medications, transferring them from the manufacturer’s original bottle to the pharmacy’s amber vials is not a big deal, and lets the pharmacy purchase in bulk (which is more cost-effective)—unless you are taking certain medications.

Some drugs, per the manufacturer, are to be dispensed in their original container due to the sensitivity, integrity, and stability of the medication. Medications can be sensitive to many things including light, temperature, humidity, or moisture. It is important to properly maintain and store your medications according to the recommendations of the manufacturer.

So what are some examples of medications that need to be dispensed and stored in the original container?


Orally dissolving tablets


  • Suboxone (foil pouch)
  • Zuplenz (foil pouch)

Chewable tablets



  • Enbrel (syringes, vials, or pens in a box)
  • Humira (syringes or pens in a box)

Drugs featured in this story

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