Here's why that huge cotton ball comes in pill bottles

We’ve all been there: reaching for the medicine cabinet with a splitting headache, opening the new pill bottle, and digging through a giant cotton ball to get to the capsules.

Why are those cotton balls even there?

According to The Wall Street Journal, Bayer started putting in the cotton in the early 1900s to keep those powdery pills in place, so they wouldn’t get knocked around in the bottle and break. That could lead to improper dosage as patients attempted to piece broken bits together to form a full pill.

However, pills are now coated and Bayer stopped putting cotton in their bottles in 1999. But other companies continue the practice, mainly because consumers expect it.

The National Institute of Health actually recommends removing any cotton stuffed into your pill bottles, as the fluff ball could draw moisture into the container.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.