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Don’t Let the Pill Bottle Quantity Fool You

When you see the number of pills in a bottle, along with the strength, you reasonably assume that is what will be inside. So a bottle of 100 aspirin that says 325 milligrams should be just that.

Last year we showed you examples of calcium supplements that didn’t meet that expectation. Now we turn to a similar issue with with these CVS melatonin gummies.

CVS Melatonin Gummies

Here the label clearly says there are 60 gummies in the bottle and it notes the strength as 10 mg. in two places on the front label.


CVS back of label

The dosing instructions on the back say you have to take two gummies in order to get the 10 mg. promised on the front of the label. So in essence, if you thought this bottle would last you two months, it will only be good for one month.

Another CVS melatonin gummy product makes a slightly different representation on the front saying this product is 10 mg. per serving. While a slight improvement, shoppers still could be easily misled.

10 mg per serving

What do you think… shouldn’t the strength of the medication displayed on the front of the bottle be what you get in each pill, capsule, or gummy inside?

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26 thoughts on “Don’t Let the Pill Bottle Quantity Fool You”

  1. So CVS people sat around a conference table and once again figured out a way to deceive its customers. Nice going CVS. Do you feel good now?

  2. This is rampant on Amazon and EBay. Often, there’s no way to discern when the seller is doing this. In any case, it’s easy to send things back regardless of whether the seller “allows” it.

    • Phil,

      It’s not so “easy” to send things back. You have to repackage the item, bring it to the post office, etc., and, most importantly, pay the return shipping charge.

      “Easy?” Not for me.

  3. How is this allowed in over the counter medicine? This unclear labeling causes dosing errors.
    If it doesn’t say “per serving” right by the dosage it is labeling error.

    • This is allowed because “supplements” are not medicine and as such are not regulated by our worthless FDA.
      Just goes to show you, read the labels before you buy.

      • Some are behind the counter though, such as iron supplements. Taking too much can result in liver damage or failure. Even children who have been known to eat many pleasant- flavoured vitamins in shape of cartoon characters with iron, have had untoward effects. Baby aspirin (in my time) was tasty and kids would eat them like candy. Young children don’t know and some parents need to be taught to keep these things locked up and NOT tell their children ‘they are candy’ if the child refuses to take them. Labels are super important!! As is teaching.

  4. Yes, supplements often do this, so frequent supplement users are well aware. The casual shopper, however, wouldn’t know, but now some will.

    As to the melatonin, 10 mg is high for a single dose, where 3 mg is often recommended. So, at 5 mg a night, this bottle will indeed last 2 months.

    I’d say the bigger problem is these are gummies with sugar included. Other forms don’t include the sugar.

  5. This is typical with usa foid supplements and is misleading, cheating and federal aughorities should have acted against this long time ago. As a non us consumer conscience it always overwhelms me how you are cheated by your own suppliers. This calls for class action of legal actikn

  6. That’s not surprising given what we’ve recently been uncovering throughout our state of Michigan, and presumably everywhere. Their monopoly has given them extraordinary benefits akin to robber barons, and with little oversight, it becomes very profitable to misrepresent a product line, painstakingly evident more and more each day to us. To see first hand violations we uncover daily, see our videos on CVS’s systematic misrepresentations that are unknowingly stealing from people too busy or distracted to catch on our YouTube channel ‘CVS Misreps’ https://youtube.com/@cvsmisreps?si=m9cf2P4R-zCJg8bS
    Together, let’s keep em honest!

  7. The first bottle as shown is clearly deceptive. The gummies do not contain 10 mg of melatonin each. Even with the lax labelling permitted for dietary supplements, this product is mislabeled.

    • Totally agree. The powers that be need to get on it to change labelling practices and that includes companies that change sizes etc. I believe these companies should be ordered to put on large red or yellow stickers on the FRONT to inform consumers of the changes.

  8. The pill bottle should say 5mg per gummy but at least 2 gummies, which they do list as a serving, equals what the promised amount is and are contained in that pill bottle. Unlike other food like Kellogg’s vector cereal for instance which claims it has 13g of protein … on the side it’s only 5.3G with the rest of the grams made up of adding skim milk to the cereal, which is obviously purchased separately. That is very misleading to consumers. It just means we, as consumers have to read the labels carefully these days.

    • Agree. It’s absolutely misleading. It’s going to take shoppers alot longer to shop because we all have to read (and understand) the labels front, back, and also peel the label on the back open to read it. Too bad if they don’t like it. They need to become forthright and transparent in their labelling then.

  9. I remember many years ago when nutrition labeling was first required. The food companies fought hard to defeat these new requirements. They lobbied fiercely against any comsumer information. That effort failed. So now they just use portion size to mask the information. They know that congress or any of the agencies won’t hold them accountable. This is another example of “figures don’t lie, but, liers figure”.

  10. I feel like this is really common with gummies specifically. If you look at any of the multi-vitamin gummies instead it is almost always two gummies per dose. This isn’t me justifying it, I’m saying this issue is prevalent.

    • Gummies are specifically vulnerable to scam. If they aren’t lab certified, they might (or more likely) might not have posted potency.
      Always pay attention to the Lab Certified stamp.

  11. That’s became now a norm. I purchased a bottle of Collagen +biotin made by You theory that says 390 tabs, but the serving size is 6 tablets. So the has only 65 servings.
    Buyers beware!

  12. That’s became now a norm. I purchased a bottle of Collagen +biotin made by Youtheory that says 390 tabs, but the serving size is 6 tablets. So the bottle has only 65 servings.
    Buyers beware!

  13. Move Free Joint Health Advanced featured a 200 tablets bottle, 2 tablets per serving. So, there are only 100 servings per bottle.

    Sundance Vitamins Absorbable Calcium 1200 MG + D3 5000 IU bottle has 60 softgels. Two (2) softgels per servings makes 30 servings per bottle.

  14. I don’t see how a reasonable person can be mid led. It was clearly labeled and the only problem is people assume instead of looking at facts. I am a wise consumer and I have no love for greedy corporations but I didn’t feel misled. In fact, I like the idea of being able to easily adjust the mg dosage from 10mg to 5mg by taking 1/2 serving (1 gummy).

  15. It’s sneaky, period. The company knows very well, what it’s doing. Most people just read the front label and these companies know it. I almost got ‘caught’ with vitamins until I looked at the back and read that I need 2 to get the dose claimed on the front label. It shouldn’t be allowed and is quite misleading which could lead people not to achieve the desired effectiveness. It could very well come back to bite the company when consumers quit choosing that brand because it didn’t work as well as other brands. Most of the time, as I’ve learned, these products cost alot MORE than their competitors.

  16. I know I’m late to respond here but I don’t know why CVS is being singled out here when ALL supplement manufacturers engage in this now. They go by a “serving size” not per pill because they don’t have to. It’s especially bad with glucosamine supplements, which often require 3 or 4 pills to meet the daily “serving size”. You have to look for the variety that says “ONE PILL DAILY” so as not to fall for this BS.

    I have been blindsided a few times by this practice with many reputable supplement manufacturers. All of them do this. It’s forced me to carry strong reading glasses with me when I look for new supplements. Thankfully I’m retired so I have the time to look before I buy something but it’s still a pain in the rear and I agree that they should be forced to give you the nutrition information PER PILL, not “serving size”.

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