Skip to main content

What Do the Symbols on My Catheter Packages Mean?

Have you ever looked at the packaging on your catheter or other medical supplies and wondered about the symbols printed on them? While it may be easy to overlook these small graphics, they convey important information about your catheter product’s use, storage, and disposal. Let’s take a closer look at the common symbols you may find on catheter packages and other medical supplies. Plus, we’ll go over what those symbols mean for you as a catheter user.

Labels on Catheter Packaging

Take a look at our helpful catheter package symbols guide below.

Common Symbols on Catheter Packages

Do not reuse symbol The symbol for “Do not reuse.” Single or sterile use only.
 Manufacturer Lot Number Manufacturer’s lot number or batch code. The symbol will be right next to a set of numbers indicating the number of the batch in which this particular supply was produced.
     Product Reference or Item number Indicates the product’s reference or item number. Your 180 Medical specialist may ask you to find this number to determine what item you have on hand.
      Manufacturer Manufacturer. This picture will be next to the name and address of the manufacturer.
 Date of Manufacture Date of manufacture. Next to this symbol, you will see a date with 4 digits indicating the year and 2 following digits indicating the month that this product was produced/manufactured in (YYYY-MM).
 Use by date Use By. Next to this small hourglass symbol, you will see the expiration date with 4 digits indicating the year and 2 following digits indicating the month (YYYY-MM).
   By prescription only  By prescription only. U.S. Federal Law restricts this device to sale on the order of a physician only.
 sterilization by Ethylene Oxide  The EO indicates a method of sterilization by Ethylene Oxide.
 sterilization using irradiation  The R after “Sterile” indicates a method of sterilization using irradiation.
 sterilization using dry heat or steam  The thermometer icon indicates a method of sterilization using dry heat or steam.
 Not sterilized or non-sterile  Not sterilized or non-sterile. You may see this on products such as non-sterile gloves.
 Instructions are available  Instructions are available to read or consult.

Source for regulated symbols:

Depending upon the brand and type of catheter you have, your catheter supplies packaging will vary in color, size, length, and shape. But you can always depend on knowing that the symbols are there because they are regulated by the FDA.

Directions for Sterile Catheter Use

Wondering how to perform sterile intermittent catheterization? It’s one of the easiest ways to help reduce the risk of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, which are also known as UTIs or CAUTIs.

Get our helpful online catheterization instructions at today.

As always, if you ever have a question about this or anything else regarding catheter products, insurance coverage for catheters, or getting started with 180 Medical, please feel free to give us a call!


Call Toll-Free (877) 688-2729

Join the 180 Community

About the Author
What Do the Symbols on My Catheter Packages Mean?
Jessica is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical, and she has been with the company for over 14 years now. She loves getting to be creative in her role and hearing from customers about the positive impact we've made on their lives.

Outside of work, you can find her hanging out with her husband and their dogs or browsing garden centers (where she will almost certainly buy another houseplant she doesn't really need).