The Real Reason There Are Cotton Balls In Pill Bottles

Every time you open a new bottle of pills, there’s a good chance a ball of cotton is sitting on top of the medication inside. Most people end up pulling the cotton out and throwing it in the trash, but are they doing the wrong thing? Cotton balls were first used in pill bottles by Bayer in the early 1900s because medications came in uncoated tablets that could easily break while bouncing around in the bottle. A tuft of cotton filled the empty space and kept everything snug until the customer got the bottle home. However, in the 1980s, the invention of a special coating on pills that prevented them from crumbling eliminated the need for cotton. Bayer, however elected not to remove the fluff from their bottles until 1999, simply because they believed that consumers had gotten so used to it that they would think something was wrong if it wasn’t there. So, consumers today can feel free to pull the cotton out of the bottle and toss it in the trash, without the fear of loss of potency. It is, however, important that pills be kept in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture from causing damage to them. The worst place you can keep pills is in the bathroom, while the best place is in your bedroom.