Why are there cotton balls in pill bottles?

It's the worst isn't it? You have the most awful headache or a fever, you reach for your pill bottle and you have to sift through cotton in order to reach the relief you seek.

But why are there cotton balls in pill bottles in the first place?

Bayer actually started the ritual in the early 20th century in order to keep their pills in place. Powder pills would often break from moving around in the bottle and people weren't getting their proper dosage because they would try to piece them together.

Medicine has come a long way in the past 100 years and most pills are coated, thus removing the need for the cotton.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bayer stopped the practice in 1999, but because people are used to seeing the little cotton balls in their pills, they expect it -- some companies have kept the practice in place.

The cotton balls bring moisture into the bottle, which can damage the pills, so the National Library of Medicine actually recommends you take the cotton ball out.

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