About GPO   |   Newsroom/Media   |   Congressional Relations   |   Inspector General   |   Careers   |   Contact   |   askGPO   |   Help  
 
Home   |   Customers   |   Vendors   |   Libraries  

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a regularly updated, unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.

Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules for the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code
Text | PDF

Find, review, and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register using Regulations.gov.

Purchase individual CFR titles from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

Find issues of the CFR (including issues prior to 1996) at a local Federal depository library.

[1]
 
 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 23, 2014

Title 21: Food and Drugs
PART 201—LABELING
Subpart C—Labeling Requirements for Over-the-Counter Drugs


§201.66   Format and content requirements for over-the-counter (OTC) drug product labeling.

(a) Scope. This section sets forth the content and format requirements for the labeling of all OTC drug products. Where an OTC drug product is the subject of an applicable monograph or regulation that contains content and format requirements that conflict with this section, the content and format requirements in this section must be followed unless otherwise specifically provided in the applicable monograph or regulation.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) Act means the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (secs. 201 et seq. (21 U.S.C. 321 et seq.)).

(2) Active ingredient means any component that is intended to furnish pharmacological activity or other direct effect in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or to affect the structure or any function of the body of humans. The term includes those components that may undergo chemical change in the manufacture of the drug product and be present in the drug product in a modified form intended to furnish the specified activity or effect.

(3) Approved drug application means a new drug (NDA) or abbreviated new drug (ANDA) application approved under section 505 of the act (21 U.S.C. 355).

(4) Bullet means a geometric symbol that precedes each statement in a list of statements. For purposes of this section, the bullet style is limited to solid squares or solid circles, in the format set forth in paragraph (d)(4) of this section.

(5) Established name of a drug or ingredient thereof means the applicable official name designated under section 508 of the act (21 U.S.C. 358), or, if there is no designated official name and the drug or ingredient is recognized in an official compendium, the official title of the drug or ingredient in such compendium, or, if there is no designated official name and the drug or ingredient is not recognized in an official compendium, the common or usual name of the drug or ingredient.

(6) FDA means the Food and Drug Administration.

(7) Heading means the required statements in quotation marks listed in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(9) of this section, excluding subheadings (as defined in paragraph (a)(9) of this section).

(8) Inactive ingredient means any component other than an active ingredient.

(9) Subheading means the required statements in quotation marks listed in paragraphs (c)(5)(ii) through (c)(5)(vii) of this section.

(10) Drug facts labeling means the title, headings, subheadings, and information required under or otherwise described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(11) Title means the heading listed at the top of the required OTC drug product labeling, as set forth in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(12) Total surface area available to bear labeling means all surfaces of the outside container of the retail package or, if there is no such outside container, all surfaces of the immediate container or container wrapper except for the flanges at the tops and bottoms of cans and the shoulders and necks of bottles and jars.

(c) Content requirements. The outside container or wrapper of the retail package, or the immediate container label if there is no outside container or wrapper, shall contain the title, headings, subheadings, and information set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(8) of this section, and may contain the information under the heading in paragraph (c)(9) of this section, in the order listed.

(1) (Title) “Drug Facts”. If the drug facts labeling appears on more than one panel, the title “Drug Facts (continued)” shall appear at the top of each subsequent panel containing such information.

(2) “Active ingredient” or “Active ingredients” “(in each [insert the dosage unit stated in the directions for use (e.g., tablet, 5 mL teaspoonful) or in each gram as stated in §§333.110 and 333.120 of this chapter])”, followed by the established name of each active ingredient and the quantity of each active ingredient per dosage unit. Unless otherwise provided in an applicable OTC drug monograph or approved drug application, products marketed without discrete dosage units (e.g., topicals) shall state the proportion (rather than the quantity) of each active ingredient.

(3) “Purpose” or “Purposes”, followed by the general pharmacological category(ies) or the principal intended action(s) of the drug or, where the drug consists of more than one ingredient, the general pharmacological categories or the principal intended actions of each active ingredient. When an OTC drug monograph contains a statement of identity, the pharmacological action described in the statement of identity shall also be stated as the purpose of the active ingredient.

(4) “Use” or “Uses”, followed by the indication(s) for the specific drug product.

(5) “Warning” or “Warnings”, followed by one or more of the following, if applicable:

(i) “For external use only” [in bold type] for topical drug products not intended for ingestion, or “For” (select one of the following, as appropriate: “rectal” or “vaginal”) “use only” [in bold type].

(ii) All applicable warnings listed in paragraphs (c)(5)(ii)(A) through (c)(5)(ii)(G) of this section with the appropriate subheadings highlighted in bold type:

(A) Reye's syndrome warning for drug products containing salicylates set forth in §201.314(h)(1). This warning shall follow the subheading “Reye's syndrome:”

(B) Allergic reaction and asthma alert warnings. Allergic reaction warnings set forth in any applicable OTC drug monograph or approved drug application for any product that requires a separate allergy warning. This warning shall follow the subheading “Allergy alert:” The asthma alert warning set forth in §§341.76(c)(5) and 341.76(c)(6) of this chapter. This warning shall follow the subheading “Asthma alert:”

(C) Flammability warning, with appropriate flammability signal word(s) (e.g., §§341.74(c)(5)(iii), 344.52(c), 358.150(c), and 358.550(c) of this chapter). This warning shall follow a subheading containing the appropriate flammability signal word(s) described in an applicable OTC drug monograph or approved drug application.

(D) Water soluble gums warning set forth in §201.319. This warning shall follow the subheading “Choking:”

(E) Liver warning set forth in §201.326(a)(1)(iii) and/or stomach bleeding warning set forth in §201.326(a)(2)(iii). The liver warning shall follow the subheading “Liver warning:” and the stomach bleeding warning shall follow the subheading “Stomach bleeding warning:”

(F) Sore throat warning set forth in §201.315. This warning shall follow the subheading “Sore throat warning:”

(G) Warning for drug products containing sodium phosphates set forth in §201.307(b)(2)(i) or (b)(2)(ii). This warning shall follow the subheading “Dosage warning:”

(H) Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) warning for vaginal contraceptive and spermicide drug products containing nonoxynol 9 set forth in §201.325(b)(2). This warning shall follow the subheading “Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) alert:”

(iii) “Do not use” [in bold type], followed by all contraindications for use with the product. These contraindications are absolute and are intended for situations in which consumers should not use the product unless a prior diagnosis has been established by a doctor or for situations in which certain consumers should not use the product under any circumstances regardless of whether a doctor or health professional is consulted.

(iv) “Ask a doctor before use if you have” [in bold type] or, for products labeled only for use in children under 12 years of age, “Ask a doctor before use if the child has” [in bold type], followed by all warnings for persons with certain preexisting conditions (excluding pregnancy) and all warnings for persons experiencing certain symptoms. The warnings under this heading are those intended only for situations in which consumers should not use the product until a doctor is consulted.

(v) “Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are” [in bold type] or, for products labeled only for use in children under 12 years of age, “Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if the child is” [in bold type], followed by all drug-drug and drug-food interaction warnings.

(vi) “When using this product” [in bold type], followed by the side effects that the consumer may experience, and the substances (e.g., alcohol) or activities (e.g., operating machinery, driving a car, warnings set forth in §369.21 of this chapter for drugs in dispensers pressurized by gaseous propellants) to avoid while using the product.

(vii) “Stop use and ask a doctor if” [in bold type], followed by any signs of toxicity or other reactions that would necessitate immediately discontinuing use of the product. For all OTC drug products under an approved drug application whose packaging does not include a toll-free number through which consumers can report complaints to the manufacturer or distributor of the drug product, the following text shall immediately follow the subheading: “[Bullet] side effects occur. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.” The telephone number must appear in a minimum 6-point bold letter height or type size.

(viii) Any required warnings in an applicable OTC drug monograph, other OTC drug regulations, or approved drug application that do not fit within one of the categories listed in paragraphs (c)(5)(i) through (c)(5)(vii), (c)(5)(ix), and (c)(5)(x) of this section.

(ix) The pregnancy/breast-feeding warning set forth in §201.63(a); the third trimester warning set forth in §201.63(e) for products containing aspirin or carbaspirin calcium; the third trimester warning set forth in approved drug applications for products containing ketoprofen, naproxen sodium, and ibuprofen (not intended exclusively for use in children).

(x) The “Keep out of reach of children” warning and the accidental overdose/ingestion warning set forth in §330.1(g) of this chapter.

(6) “Directions”, followed by the directions for use described in an applicable OTC drug monograph or approved drug application.

(7) “Other information”, followed by additional information that is not included under paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(6), (c)(8), and (c)(9) of this section, but which is required by or is made optional under an applicable OTC drug monograph, other OTC drug regulation, or is included in the labeling of an approved drug application.

(i) Required information about certain ingredients in OTC drug products (e.g., sodium in §201.64(b), calcium in §201.70(b), magnesium in §201.71(b), and potassium in §201.72(b)) shall appear as follows: “each (insert appropriate dosage unit) contains:” [in bold type (insert name(s) of ingredient(s) (in alphabetical order) and the quantity of each ingredient). This information shall be the first statement under this heading.

(ii) The phenylalanine/aspartame content required by §201.21(b), if applicable, shall appear as the next item of information.

(iii) Additional information that is authorized to appear under this heading shall appear as the next item(s) of information. There is no required order for this subsequent information.

(8) “Inactive ingredients”, followed by a listing of the established name of each inactive ingredient. If the product is an OTC drug product that is not also a cosmetic product, then the inactive ingredients shall be listed in alphabetical order. If the product is an OTC drug product that is also a cosmetic product, then the inactive ingredients shall be listed as set forth in §701.3(a) or (f) of this chapter, the names of cosmetic ingredients shall be determined in accordance with §701.3(c) of this chapter, and the provisions in §701.3(e), (g), (h), (l), (m), (n), and (o) of this chapter and §720.8 of this chapter may also apply, as appropriate. If there is a difference in the labeling provisions in this §201.66 and §§701.3 and 720.8 of this chapter, the labeling provisions in this §201.66 shall be used.

(9) “Questions?” or “Questions or comments?”, followed by the telephone number of a source to answer questions about the product. It is recommended that the days of the week and times of the day when a person is available to respond to questions also be included. A graphic of a telephone or telephone receiver may appear before the heading. The telephone number must appear in a minimum 6-point bold type.

(d) Format requirements. The title, headings, subheadings, and information set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(9) of this section shall be presented on OTC drug products in accordance with the following specifications. In the interest of uniformity of presentation, FDA strongly reccommends that the Drug Facts labeling be presented using the graphic specifications set forth in appendix A to part 201.

(1) The title “Drug Facts” or “Drug Facts (continued)” shall use uppercase letters for the first letter of the words “Drug” and “Facts.” All headings and subheadings in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(9) of this section shall use an uppercase letter for the first letter in the first word and lowercase letters for all other words. The title, headings, and subheadings in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(4) through (c)(9) of this section shall be left justified.

(2) The letter height or type size for the title “Drug Facts” shall appear in a type size larger than the largest type size used in the Drug Facts labeling. The letter height or type size for the title “Drug Facts (continued)” shall be no smaller than 8-point type. The letter height or type size for the headings in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(9) of this section shall be the larger of either 8-point or greater type, or 2-point sizes greater than the point size of the text. The letter height or type size for the subheadings and all other information described in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(9) of this section shall be no smaller than 6-point type.

(3) The title, heading, subheadings, and information in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(9) of this section shall be legible and clearly presented, shall have at least 0.5-point leading (i.e., space between two lines of text), and shall not have letters that touch. The type style for the title, headings, subheadings, and all other required information described in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(9) of this section shall be any single, clear, easy-to-read type style, with no more than 39 characters per inch. The title and headings shall be in bold italic, and the subheadings shall be in bold type, except that the word “(continued)” in the title “Drug Facts (continued)” shall be regular type. The type shall be all black or one color printed on a white or other contrasting background, except that the title and the headings may be presented in a single, alternative, contrasting color unless otherwise provided in an approved drug application, OTC drug monograph (e.g., current requirements for bold print in §§341.76 and 341.80 of this chapter), or other OTC drug regulation (e.g., the requirement for a box and red letters in §201.308(c)(1)).

(4) When there is more than one statement, each individual statement listed under the headings and subheadings in paragraphs (c)(4) through (c)(7) of this section shall be preceded by a solid square or solid circle bullet of 5-point type size. Bullets shall be presented in the same shape and color throughout the labeling. The first bulleted statement on each horizontal line of text shall be either left justified or separated from an appropriate heading or subheading by at least two square “ems” (i.e., two squares of the size of the letter “M”). If more than one bulleted statement is placed on the same horizontal line, the end of one bulleted statement shall be separated from the beginning of the next bulleted statement by at least two square “ems” and the complete additional bulleted statement(s) shall not continue to the next line of text. Additional bulleted statements appearing on each subsequent horizontal line of text under a heading or subheading shall be vertically aligned with the bulleted statements appearing on the previous line.

(5) The title, headings, subheadings, and information set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(9) of this section may appear on more than one panel on the outside container of the retail package, or the immediate container label if there is no outside container or wrapper. The continuation of the required content and format onto multiple panels must retain the required order and flow of headings, subheadings, and information. A visual graphic (e.g., an arrow) shall be used to signal the continuation of the Drug Facts labeling to the next adjacent panel.

(6) The heading and information required under paragraph (c)(2) of this section shall appear immediately adjacent and to the left of the heading and information required under paragraph (c)(3) of this section. The active ingredients and purposes shall be aligned under the appropriate headings such that the heading and information required under paragraph (c)(2) of this section shall be left justified and the heading and information required under paragraph (c)(3) of this section shall be right justified. If the OTC drug product contains more than one active ingredient, the active ingredients shall be listed in alphabetical order. If more than one active ingredient has the same purpose, the purpose need not be repeated for each active ingredient, provided the information is presented in a manner that readily associates each active ingredient with its purpose (i.e., through the use of brackets, dot leaders, or other graphical features). The information described in paragraphs (c)(4) and (c)(6) through (c)(9) of this section may start on the same line as the required headings. None of the information described in paragraph (c)(5) of this section shall appear on the same line as the “Warning” or “Warnings” heading.

(7) Graphical images (e.g., the UPC symbol) and information not described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(9) of this section shall not appear in or in any way interrupt the required title, headings, subheadings, and information in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(9) of this section. Hyphens shall not be used except to punctuate compound words.

(8) The information described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(9) of this section shall be set off in a box or similar enclosure by the use of a barline. A distinctive horizontal barline extending to each end of the “Drug Facts” box or similar enclosure shall provide separation between each of the headings listed in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(9) of this section. When a heading listed in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(9) of this section appears on a subsequent panel immediately after the “Drug Facts (continued)” title, a horizontal hairline shall follow the title and immediately precede the heading. A horizontal hairline extending within two spaces on either side of the “Drug Facts” box or similar enclosure shall immediately follow the title and shall immediately precede each of the subheadings set forth in paragraph (c)(5) of this section, except the subheadings in paragraphs (c)(5)(ii)(A) through (c)(5)(ii)(G) of this section.

(9) The information set forth in paragraph (c)(6) of this section under the heading “Directions” shall appear in a table format when dosage directions are provided for three or more age groups or populations. The last line of the table may be the horizontal barline immediately preceding the heading of the next section of the labeling.

(10) If the title, headings, subheadings, and information in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(9) of this section, printed in accordance with the specifications in paragraphs (d)(1) through (d)(9) of this section, and any other FDA required information for drug products, and, as appropriate, cosmetic products, other than information required to appear on a principle display panel, requires more than 60 percent of the total surface area available to bear labeling, then the Drug Facts labeling shall be printed in accordance with the specifications set forth in paragraphs (d)(10)(i) through (d)(10)(v) of this section. In determining whether more than 60 percent of the total surface area available to bear labeling is required, the indications for use listed under the “Use(s)” heading, as set forth in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, shall be limited to the minimum required uses reflected in the applicable monograph, as provided in §330.1(c)(2) of this chapter.

(i) Paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(5), (d)(6), and (d)(7) of this section shall apply.

(ii) Paragraph (d)(2) of this section shall apply except that the letter height or type size for the title “Drug Facts (continued)” shall be no smaller than 7-point type and the headings in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(9) of this section shall be the larger of either 7-point or greater type, or 1-point size greater than the point size of the text.

(iii) Paragraph (d)(3) of this section shall apply except that less than 0.5-point leading may be used, provided the ascenders and descenders do not touch.

(iv) Paragraph (d)(4) of this section shall apply except that if more than one bulleted statement is placed on the same horizontal line, the additional bulleted statements may continue to the next line of text, and except that the bullets under each heading or subheading need not be vertically aligned.

(v) Paragraph (d)(8) of this section shall apply except that the box or similar enclosure required in paragraph (d)(8) of this section may be omitted if the Drug Facts labeling is set off from the rest of the labeling by use of color contrast.

(11)(i) The following labeling outlines the various provisions in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section:

eCFR graphic er17mr99.003.gif

View or download PDF

(ii) The following sample label illustrates the provisions in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section:

eCFR graphic er17mr99.004.gif

View or download PDF

(iii) The following sample label illustrates the provisions in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, including paragraph (d)(10) of this section, which permits modifications for small packages:

eCFR graphic er17mr99.005.gif

View or download PDF

(iv) The following sample label illustrates the provisions in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section for a drug product marketed with cosmetic claims:

eCFR graphic er17mr99.006.gif

View or download PDF

(e) Exemptions and deferrals. FDA on its own initiative or in response to a written request from any manufacturer, packer, or distributor, may exempt or defer, based on the circumstances presented, one or more specific requirements set forth in this section on the basis that the requirement is inapplicable, impracticable, or contrary to public health or safety. Requests for exemptions shall be submitted in three copies in the form of an “Application for Exemption” to the Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. The request shall be clearly identified on the envelope as a “Request for Exemption from 21 CFR 201.66 (OTC Labeling Format)” and shall be directed to Docket No. 98N-0337. A separate request shall be submitted for each OTC drug product. Sponsors of a product marketed under an approved drug application shall also submit a single copy of the exemption request to their application. Decisions on exemptions and deferrals will be maintained in a permanent file in this docket for public review. Exemption and deferral requests shall:

(1) Document why a particular requirement is inapplicable, impracticable, or is contrary to public health or safety; and

(2) Include a representation of the proposed labeling, including any outserts, panel extensions, or other graphical or packaging techniques intended to be used with the product.

(f) Interchangeable terms and connecting terms. The terms listed in §330.1(i) of this chapter may be used interchangeably in the labeling of OTC drug products, provided such use does not alter the meaning of the labeling that has been established and identified in an applicable OTC drug monograph or by regulation. The terms listed in §330.1(j) of this chapter may be deleted from the labeling of OTC drug products when the labeling is revised to comply with this section, provided such deletion does not alter the meaning of the labeling that has been established and identified in an applicable OTC drug monograph or by regulation. The terms listed in §330.1(i) and (j) of this chapter shall not be used to change in any way the specific title, headings, and subheadings required under paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(9) of this section.

(g) Regulatory action. An OTC drug product that is not in compliance with the format and content requirements in this section is subject to regulatory action.

[64 FR 13286, Mar. 17, 1999, as amended at 65 FR 8, Jan. 3, 2000; 65 FR 48904, Aug. 10, 2000; 69 FR 13733, Mar. 24, 2004; 72 FR 71785, Dec. 19, 2007; 73 FR 403, Jan. 3, 2008; 74 FR 19407, Apr. 29, 2009; 76 FR 44487, July 26, 2011]



For questions or comments regarding e-CFR editorial content, features, or design, email ecfr@nara.gov.
For questions concerning e-CFR programming and delivery issues, email webteam@gpo.gov.