Pharma Carton Dimension: A Guide

Last updated June 14, 2024

pharma cartons

The precise sizing and specifications of pharma carton dimension play a crucial role in the pharmaceutical industry.

As companies strive to meet stringent regulatory standards while ensuring the safety and integrity of their products, the choice of carton size and type becomes integral to their packaging strategy.

This guide provides an overview of common carton types and dimensions, along with labeling requirements tailored to different pharmaceutical needs.

Carton types and their dimensions

  • Flat cartons: Used primarily for small pills or tablets, these cartons are compact and usually measure around 50mm x 30mm x 10mm. Their streamlined shape makes them ideal for minimalistic packaging needs.
Flat Cartons
  • Folding cartons: Suitable for bottled or boxed medications, folding cartons offer flexibility in design and size, with typical dimensions being 100mm x 50mm x 30mm. They are preferred for their ability to hold substantial information and security features.
folding cartons
  • Hanging cartons: Designed for retail display, these cartons often feature a hanging tab and are sized at about 120mm x 80mm x 20mm, allowing them to stand out on shelves for better consumer visibility.
hanging cartons
  • Tubular box: This kind of box is made of cylindrical cardboard or plastic tubes with good sealing and is suitable for the packaging of injections, ointments, creams and other medicines.
  • Pouch boxes: These lightweight and portable containers, crafted from cardboards or composite materials, are ideal for packaging powders, granules, and other pharmaceuticals.
  • Customized cartons: For sensitive or specialty medications, such as injectables, cartons can be custom-sized to accommodate specific product dimensions and protective features.

Labeling requirements and positions

  • Single-sided labeling
    Appropriate for simple packaging that requires minimal information, where labels cover only one side of the carton.
  • Double-sided labeling
    This method is used when information needs to be visible on both the front and the back of the packaging, common in folding cartons.
  • Tamper-evident labeling
    High-security medications benefit from tamper-evident labels, which indicate if the packaging has been opened or tampered with.
  • Multi-sided labeling
    Complex informational needs may require labels on multiple sides of a carton, providing necessary details from various angles.
  • Corner labeling
    Special labels that wrap around the corners of a carton are useful for adding extra information or securing the package further.
  • Viallabeller’s machines can be adapted to all the above positions and requirements, and can also provide professional labeling solutions for pharmaceutical cartons, as well as other similar solutions such as syringe labeling solutions, ampoule labeling solutions, etc.

Material and design considerations

Choosing the right material for a pharmaceutical carton is vital for both functionality and compliance. Biodegradable materials are becoming increasingly popular, offering an environmentally friendly option.

Innovative designs such as windows or clear panels and the integration of safety symbols and color coding are also crucial to enhance user interaction and safety.

Industry standards and compliance

Labels must include regulatory information such as ingredients, dosage instructions, production dates, and batch numbers. Adhering to standards set by agencies like the FDA or EMA is essential, especially when considering the global market, which may have varying requirements.


Understanding carton dimension in the pharmaceutical sector is not just about measuring boxes but optimizing packaging for safety, compliance, and market appeal.

This guide outlines the essential aspects of selecting the right carton dimension and type for various pharmaceutical products, ensuring that every package not only meets regulatory demands but also addresses the practical needs of storage and distribution.

Wei Quan

Wei Quan is a mechanical engineer specializing in the design and manufacturing of packaging machinery with over 10 years of industry experience. He has been involved in the development of various innovative packaging equipment, helping companies improve production efficiency and quality.
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