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Publication numberUS3113672 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 10, 1963
Filing dateAug 14, 1959
Priority dateAug 14, 1959
Publication numberUS 3113672 A, US 3113672A, US-A-3113672, US3113672 A, US3113672A
InventorsFrank E Brown
Original AssigneeFrank E Brown
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container-dispenser construction for suppositories and the like
US 3113672 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

CONTAINER-DISPENSER CONSTRUCTION FOR SUPPOSITORIES AND THE LIKE Filed Aug. 14, 1959 F. E. BROWN Dec. 10, 1963 M l 6 P \5 Wm l 3% mfl in; Km z 2 5% M By Ms flrrae/vsgs. (Al ae/s, MEG f, RUSSELL 5 1451211 F. E. BROWN Dec. 10, 1963 CONTAINER-DISPENSER CONSTRUCTION FDR SUPPOSITORIES AND THE LIKE Filed Aug. 14, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ,flfnray. 710.41.

,Ffemvz flQaM/M,

Z i flifs, M55; 13095544, 5165191! 3,113,672 Patented Dec. 10,1963

3,113,672 CONTAINER-DISPENSER CONSTRUTION FOR SUPPOSITORIES AND THE LIKE Frank E. Brown, 1842 Emerald Terrace, Glendale 1, Calif.

Filed Aug. 14, 1959, Ser. No. 833,837 7 Claims. (Cl. 20663.2)

The present invention relates generally to the art of forming and dispensing articles and is particularly applicable to articles that should be dispensed or used without contamination. The invention will be particu larly exemplified as applied to the medical appliance art and to a novel suppository and container-dispenser construction therefor.

At the present time, suppositories are usually individually wrapped in free form in foil or the like or they are sealed in similar material in a side-by-side relationship. Because they soften at body temperature, during hot months they must be shipped by air express in refrigerated packages. Also, in doctors ofiices, hospitals, and the like the suppositories are usually maintained under refrigeration to prevent them from softening and becoming deformed. A further disadvantage with the known constructions is that the suppositories are diflicult to unwrap and use without mutilating them because as soon as they are grasped in a persons hand they begin to soften and lose shape and become difiicult to hold.

It is an object of the present invention, therefore, to provide a novel container-dispenser construction whereby suppositories or other articles can be shipped long distances without refrigeration during all types of weather without damaging them. More particularly, it is an object to provide a dispenser type of container in which the suppositories or other articles are supported in a rigid mold or cavity. Specifically, it is an object to provide such a device in which the suppositories or other heat-softenable articles are sealed in rigid molds or cavities so that even if they were to soften with heat, they would not change shape and could be solidified prior to usage by merely chilling the container-dispenser.

Another object is to provide a novel dispenser construction for suppositories, from which they can be easily and quickly dispensed ready for use. More particularly, it is an'object to provide such a construction in which the suppositories are supported in an unwrapped form and from which they can be easily and quickly removed by manual pressure.

A'further object is to provide a novel suppository construction whereby the suppository can be used without touching the suppository material itself. More particu larly, it is an object to provide a novel suppository construction which contains handle means which can be easily and quickly detached from the suppository during .use. Specifically, it is an object to provide a suppository which contains detachable handle means at one or both ends thereof whereby it is not necessary to touch the suppository material itself with the hands during any period of usage.

Another object is to provide a novel container-dis penser which is also used for forming the suppositories themselves. More particularly, it is an object to provide such a device which is used as a mold for forming the suppositories and which also functions as the shipping package and dispenser therefor.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein preferred embodiments of the present invention are shown.

Briefly stated, the invention comprises a mold or container in which the suppositories or other articles are formed and which also functions as a container-dispenser. The container-dispenser may contain a plurality of elongated chambers in side-by-side relationship which are open at both ends, one end being larger than the other one. In the preferred construction, individual removable caps are placed in the larger ends and removable handle members with passageways therethrough are positioned in the smaller ends. Suppository material is then injected into the chambers through the passageways in the handle members. The suppositories are shipped in these containers and are dispensed therefrom by pressing on the handle member and forcing the suppository, cap and handle member through the chamber and out the larger end. The cap (which may also function temporarily as a handle) is removed prior to use.

Although the following description and attached drawings are specifically directed to a suppository construction and a combination shipping container and dispenser therefor, it is to be understood that the present teachings can also be applied to other materials which are used in a preformed shape, e.g. materials which have a relatively low softening point, as for example contraceptives, vaginal medicaments, lipstick, and industrial lubricants, to name a few.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a suppository and container-dispenser construction embodying the teachings of the present invention, one of the suppositories being removed to illustrate the internal construction of one of the chambers:

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 2-2 in FIG. 1, with one of the suppository assemblies partially removed from the chamber and shown in elevation;

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of a suppository assembly as it appears when removed from the containerdispenser;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but with the cap removed from the suppository assembly, showing the suppository ready for usage;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of one form of handle member for the suppository material;

FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view of the containerdispenser as it appears during the filling or suppository forming operation;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a modified form of contamer-dispenser with the removable cover cut away to more fully disclose the internal construction thereof;

FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 88 in FiG. 7, with the suppositories shown in elevation;

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of a suppository containing a modified type of handle construction;

FIG. 10 is a vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 8, showing another form of container-dispenser with a built-in ejector member;

FIG. 11 is a front elevational view of the suppository construction which is used with the container-dispenser shown in FIG. 10, and containing a further modified handle construction; and

FIG. 12 is a vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 8 illustrating the manner in which the suppositories containing solid handle members are formed.

Referring to the drawings more particularly by reference numerals, 14 indicates a container-dispenser which houses a plurality of suppository assemblies 16, all of which are constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. As will be described more fully hereinafter, the container-dispenser 14 may also function as a mold for forming the suppositories themselves.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the container-dispenser 14 includes a large lower handle chamber 18 which is open at the bottom end and a plurality of axially extending suppository chambers 24 which are in side-by-side spaced relationship. Each of the suppository chambers 20 contains a first or lower seat 21 which may be a cylindrical portion 22 of uniform diameter which is in communica tion with the handle chamber 18, an intermediate portion 24 which increases in diameter in the upward direction, and an upper seat 25 opening on an enlarged throat 26. The seat 25 may be formed by a shoulder 28 which is immediately below a cylindrical section having a side wall 36 of uniform diameter which merges into an upwardly and outwardly diverging wall 32 of the throat 26. The container-dispenser 14 may be formed of molded plastic such as polyethylene.

The preferred suppository assembly 16 (FIG. 3) comprises a handle member 34, a suppository 36 or other article to be contained and dispensed, and a cap 38.

The handle member 34, which is preferably made from soft flexible plastic material, such as polyethylene, has an axially extending filling passageway 40 therethrough and includes an elongated stem portion 42 and a hub 44 which contains a plurality of spaced annular ridges 46, the outside diameter of the ridges 46 being slightly greater than the diameter of the lower chamber 22 so that there is a sealing press fit therebetween. Extending upwardly from the hub 44 is a suppository attachment means shown as three fingers 48 (FIGS. 2 and for receiving and supporting the suppository 36 when withdrawn from the corresponding chamber 20. If desired the suppository attachment means may comprise a smaller or larger number of fingers but should be relatively close to the periphery of the base of the suppository 36.

As shown in FIG. 4, the suppository 36 is of upwardly increasing diameter and terminates in :a pointed tip 50 which supports the cap 38. The suppository is generally made of coconut butter but it can be made of similarly soft material and it can be made either with or without medicaments incorporated therein.

The cap 38, which is preferably made of soft plastic material, has an inner cavity 52 which is the desired shape of the suppository tip 5% for a reason to be discussed more fully hereinafter, a cylindrical peripheral wall surface 54 which is substantially the same diameter as the side wall 3%) of the throat 26- and which terminates in a lip 55, and a knob 56 which functions as a handle and which has a fiat end surface 58.

To use the container-dispenser 14 as a mold for forming the suppository 36, a cap 38, which preferably has a parting material such as silicone applied to the cavity 52, is positioned in each of the upper chambers 26 so that its lip 55- seats on the shoulder 28 with the peripheral wall surface 54 in sealing engagement with the side wall 30. Handles 34 are then positioned with the hubs 44 thereof in the lower portions 22 of the chambers, the ridges 46 being in sealing engagement with the walls of said lower portions. The container-dispenser 14 is then positioned as shown in FIG. 6 with the caps 38 hearing on the fiat surfaces 58 thereof and the handles 34 extending in the upward direction. Filling needles 60 are then lowered into position with the ends thereof a short distance inside the passageways 40, and the suppository material (e.g. coconut butter) in fluid form is injected into the suppository chambers 20. When the chambers 20 are filled, the material will rise in the filling passageways 40 to adjacent the ends of the needles 60. A filling system whereby measured amounts of material are dispensed from the needles 69 is preferred because if there is an obstruction in one of the passageways or an air pocket in a suppository chamber, the material will flow out of the filling passageway and thereby indicate a malfunction in the system. It is also preferable to chill the mold to about 32 F. prior to filling so that the suppository material will harden practically as soon as it is in the mold. However, even without chilling the mold, the container-dispenser can be turned over immediately after 4 filling without any danger of the material leaking out of the passageways 49 because the latter are relatively small and the material is quite viscous.

With the handle members 34 and caps 38 in sealing engagement with the container-dispenser, the suppositories 36 can be transported therein without regard to the temperature conditions which may be encountered because even if the suppository material were to become quite soft, it could not fiow from the suppository chambers or through the passage-ways 40 because of capillary action and the only requirement would be to chill the container-dispenser prior to use in order to make certain that the suppositories were in solid form. Inasmuch as suppositories are usually kept under refrigeration at the doctors ofiice or hospital, this does not require any additional step or unusual precaution.

To eject a suppository assembly 16 from the containerdispenser I14, the latter is held in one hand with the handle members 34 extending downwardly, and the index finger of the other hand is used to press upwardly upon the selected handle member until the suppository 36 breaks away from the wall of the chamber 20. Because the diameter of the chamber 29 increases in the direction away from the handle member 34, relatively little pressure is required to accomplish this result. After the suppository assembly 16 has been partially ejected from the chamber 20, it can be grasped by the knob portion 56 of the cap 3 8 and completely removed from the chamber. Thus, the handle member 34 at the one end and the cap 38 at the other end thereof permit the unit to be freely handled without touching the suppository 36 itself. Also, if necessary, the suppository assembly 16 can be supported in a vertical position by resting it on the flat end surface 58 of the cap, as by standing it on the top of a table or desk.

Immediately prior to use, the handle member 34 is held in one hand and the cap 38 is rocked back and forth very slightly with the other hand in order to break the cap away from the tip 50. Although the heat of the fingers and the rocking action are usually sufiicient to break the cap away from the suppository, it is helpful to use a small amount of a parting agent (e g. silicone) in the cavity 52 of the cap prior to inserting it in the container-dispenser 14 for the filling operation.

With the cap 38 removed, the suppository is held by means of the handle member 34 and placed in position in the patients body. Because of the fingers 48 on the hub 44, the suppository 36 is held securely on the handle member during the insertion, but, after the suppository has been in the patients body for a second or two, the suppository material will have softened sufiieiently so that the handle can be easily removed with a slight rocking action. Although, as previously mentioned, the suppository material softens after a few seconds in the patients body, it is preferable to make the handle member 38 of relatively soft flexible plastic material so that the fingers 48 will flex instead of crumbling the suppository material.

Although the container-dispenser 14 is shown in FIG. 1 as being of rectangular shape, it is readily apparent that it can be made in other forms as, for example, in an annular shape as shown in FIG. 7. Other changes can also be made in the shape of the suppository chambers and in the construction of the suppository assembly without departing from the teachings of the present invention. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 7 through 9, a suppository assembly 62 can be carried in and dispensed from an an nular container-dispenser 64 which has a central passageway 65 therethrough. The suppository assembly 62 includes a separately molded suppository 66 which is supported on a handle member 68 containing a stem portion 70 land a hub 72 provided with peripheral annular ridges 74. It will be noted that in this construction the supporting fingers, the caps and the axial passageway through the handle members have been omitted.

The container-dispenser 64 includes a bottom chamber 76 and a plurality of axially extending suppository chambers 78, each of which includes a lower portion 80 of uniform diameter for receiving the hub 72 in sealing relationship, an intermediate portion 82 in which the diameter increases in the upward direction, and a diverging upper portion 84 which contains a shoulder 36. An outwardly extending lip 88 is provided at the upper end of the container-dispenser 64 for receiving a snap-on cover 90. It will be readily apparent that the suppository assemblies 62 can be easily and quickly removed from the container-dispenser 64 by first removing the cover 90 and then pushing on the stem portion 70 of the handle, as previously described relative to the preferred construction.

A further modified construction is shown in FIGS. and 11 in which a suppository assembly 92 is used with an annular shaped container-dispenser 94, the suppository assembly 92 including a suppository 96 supported on a hub 98 which contains spaced annular ridges 100.

The container-dispenser 94 is of annular shape with a central cavity 102 having .a wall 104 extending across the bottom thereof, the wall 104 containing. a hub 106 having a channel 108 therethrough. Diametrically opposed openings 109 and- 110 (the same size as the channel 108) are provided in the Wall 104 adjacent the hub 106. The container-dispenser 94 contains axially extending suppository chambers 82' similar in shape to the ones previously described with respect to the container-dispenser 64, but there is no handle chamber, and the inner wall adjacent the cavity is cut away at the bottom to provide a recess 111. As shown in FIG. 11, the modified suppository assembly 92 does not include a stem portion which can be used for pressing the assembly from the suppository chamber by hand. Therefore, there is provided an ejector 112 which is of U-shape and which includes a transverse member 114 which is preferably formed integral with a long leg member 116 and a short leg member 113. The members of the ejector 112 are preferably of cylindrical shape with an outer diameter which is slightly smaller than the diameter of the channel .108 and the openings 109 and 110. As shown in solid lines in FIG. 10, the container-dispenser 94- is shipped with the ejector 112 positioned within the cavty 10-2 with the long leg 116 extending through the opening 109, .the short leg 11'8 extending through the opening 110, and the transverse member 114 in the recess 111.

To remove a suppository assembly 92 using the ejector 112, the latter is moved to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 10, in which the long leg 116 extends through the channel 108 in the hub 105. The short leg 118 is then moved to a selected suppository chamber 82 and the end of the short leg engaged with the bottom surface of the selected hub 98. The entire ejector 112 is then moved into the container-dispenser 94 by pressing on the transverse member 114, thereby forcing the selected suppository assembly from its chamber. It will be apparent that the suppository assemblies 92 could also be ejected from the container-dispenser 94 by using the end .of a pen or pencil against the bottom surfaces of the hubs 98.

FIG. 12 illustrates the manner in which the containerdispensers 64 and 94 may be filled. Thus, there is provided a plate-like end mold 120 which has an end face 121 and which contains a plurality of protuberances 122 which are spaced apart and shaped to fit within the upper sections 84 of the container-dispenser 64- and seat on the shoulder 86. Each of the protuberances 122 contains a cavity 124 which is the same shape as the tip of of the suppository which is to be fonmed. With the end mold 120 positioned in the one end of the containerdispenser 64 and the entire assembly positioned with the end face 121 on a fiat surface (not shown), filling needles 126 are brought into registry with the inner 6 ends of the suppository chambers and the suppository material introduced into said chambers until the upper level of the material rises to the inner ends of .the lower portions 80. The handle members 68 are then inserted into the lower portions of the chambers and into engagement with the ends of the suppositories 66.

If the container-dispenser 64 is likely to be subjected to elevated temperature, it is shipped with the end mold 120 positioned in the end thereof so that the suppositories will retain the desired shape. A cover is also shipped with the unit so that when it arrives in the hospital or doctors ofiice, the end mold can be removed and the cover snapped into position. On the other hand, if the unit will not be subjected to elevated temperatures in transit, the end mold can be removed immediately after the filling operation, and the cover snapped into position.

It is also to be understood that the solid handle constructions shows in FIGS. 9 and 11 can be used with the container-dispenser construction shown in FIG. 2 and the suppository chambers in the latter filled in [the manner disclosed in FIG. 12. It is also possible to use the end mold member (FIG. 12) with the container-dispenser 14 ('FIG. 2) by substituting it for the individual caps 38.

Thus it is apparent that there have been provided novel suppository and container-dispenser constructions which fulfill all of the objects and advantages sought therefor. A container-dispenser provided with individual caps 38 or the end mold member 120 can be shipped in the normal manner in all kinds of weather without adversely affecting the suppositories themselves. The suppositories can be formed with a handle on just one end or with a handle at each end thereof, whereby the suppository can be handled without touching it. The one handle can contain a passageway therethrough for filling the suppository chamber, or handles without passageways can be applied after the chambers have been filled. Furthermore, the one handle can be provided with supporting fingers embedded in the suppository, or the fingers may be omitted, depending upon how much holding ac tion is desired. Also, the one handle can be used for ejecting a suppository assembly from the container-dispenser, or a separate ejector member 1-12 may be provided.

It is to be understood that the foregoing description and the accompanying drawings have been given only by way of illustration and example, and that changes and alterations in the present disclosure which will be readily apparent to one skilled in the ant, are contemplate-d as within the scope of the present invention which is limited only by the claims which follow.

I claim:

1. In combination: a container-dispenser provided with at least one elongated chamber having an opening at each end thereof, the diameter of one of said openings being greater than the diameter of the other opening; a first cylindrical wall section of uniform diameter at that end of the chamber adjacent the smaller opening; a second wall section at the opposite end of said chamber terminating in an outwardly facing shoulder adjacent the larger opening; handle means having a hub portion positioned in the smaller opening with the hub portion in sliding sealing engagement with said first wall sect-ion, said handle means having a stem portion extending outside of the chamber, said handle means containing a filling passageway extending axially there-through; and a cap member having an outer peripheral wall surface engaging said second wall section in sealing engagement therewith and having a lip seated on said shoulder.

2. In combination: a container-dispenser provided with a large open chamber and a plurality of elongated suppository chambers positioned in side-by-side spaced relationship and having an opening at each end thereof, the diameter of said openings at one end being greater than the diameter of the openings at the other end, the smaller openings being in communication with said large chamber; 'handle means having a hub portion slidably positioned in each of said smaller openings, each handle means having a stem portion projecting into said large chamber; and a body of suppository material in each of said elongated chambers in contact with the handle means.

3. A combination as defined in claim 2 including a removable cover means sealing off the larger openings of the suppository chambers.

4. A suppository assembly for use with a container-dispenser, including: a handle member having an upper end; a suppository member removably connected to the upper end of the handle member, said suppository member having an upper tip; and a cap member removably mounted on said upper tip, said cap member having a protuberance extending from the upper end thereof provided with a flat surface, whereby the suppository assembly can be supported in a vertical position on said flat surface.

5. A method of producing, and dispensing suppositories by use of a molding cavity with open ends closed respectively by removable handle and cap members, each handle member having an end surface facing the molding cavity with at least one projection thereon, which method includes the steps of: molding each suppository in a respective molding cavity while closed by said removable members and with a portion of each suppository molded in contact with said end surface of and around the projection of a corresponding handle member whereby this handle member is anchored to the suppository; applying pressure to one of said handle members to displace it and its anchored suppository from the cavity with the corresponding cap member attached; and then removing said cap member to leave the suppository attached to its handle portion in a condition to be inserted in a body cavity while supported by such handle portion.

6. A method as defined in claim 5 including the steps of grasping the cap member of such suppository as the suppository is displaced and using such cap member as a handle while completing the withdrawal of said suppository from said cavity, and then twisting off such cap member from the end of the suppository while grasping said handle member as a handle for said suppository.

7. In combination: a container-dispenser provided with at least one tapered elongated chamber having an opening at each end thereof, one opening being smaller than the other, said elongated chamber diverging outwardly toward the larger opening, said container-dispenser providing a cavity adjacent said larger opening coaxial therewith, said cavity being bounded outwardly by a side wall having a portion diverging outwardly in a direction away from said larger opening; removable handle means slidable in and closing oif the smaller of said openings, said handle means having an end surface within said chamber and several rigid projections extending therefrom toward the larger opening of said chamber; a removable cap member closing ofl said larger opening, said remov- References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 604,063 Miller May 17, 1898 1,481,700 Fatland Jan. 22, 1924 1,495,800 Recker May 27, 1924 1,554,690 Pride Sept. 22, 1925 1,838,390 Goosmann Dec. 29, 1931 2,012,535 Herrold Aug. 27, 1935 2,612,261 Percopo Sept. 30, 1952 2,616,424 Brown et a1. Nov. 4, 1952 2,767,834 Sherman Oct. 23, 1956 2,854,133 Teller Sept. 30, 1958 2,950,813 Koones Aug. 30, 1960 FOREIGN PATENTS 188,227 Great Britain Nov. 9, 1922 734,838 Great Britain Aug. 10, 1955 934,398 Germany Oct. 20, 1955 536,247 Italy Nov. 28, 1955 1,113,451 France Dec. 5, 1955 554,342 Italy Jan. 10, 1957 959,218 Germany Feb. 28, 1957 773,925 Great Britain May 1, 19 57

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U.S. Classification249/121, 425/DIG.440, 249/67, 249/160, 249/204, 249/83, 249/119, 206/539, 206/529
International ClassificationA61J3/08
Cooperative ClassificationY10S425/044, A61J3/08
European ClassificationA61J3/08