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Publication numberUS3365099 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 23, 1968
Filing dateMay 12, 1967
Priority dateFeb 1, 1966
Also published asDE1536155A1
Publication numberUS 3365099 A, US 3365099A, US-A-3365099, US3365099 A, US3365099A
InventorsMctaggart Donald W
Original AssigneeMead Johnson & Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tablet dispenser
US 3365099 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 23, 1968 D. w. MGTAGA+ 3,365,099

TABLET DI SPE-NSER or inal Filed Feb. 1, 1966 FIG! m B mu m w a R m w m m mm/ o ET T a I, m M m ,mmmmm m w w a. 5 mm N7 p mw 7 G J W] United States Patent 3,365,099 TABLET DISPENSER Donald W. McTaggart, Agincourt, Ontario, Canada, as-

signor to Mead Johnson & Company, a corporation of Indiana Continuation of application Ser. No. 524,120, Feb. 1, 1966. This application May 12, 1967, Ser. No. 638,155 Claims. (Cl. 221-267) This is a continuation of Ser. No. 524,120, filed Feb. 1, 1966, and now abandoned.

This invention relates to a stablet dispenser, and more particularly to a dispenser which is especially useful to the taking of tablets on a schedule which must be synchronized with the personal schedule of the user.

The present invention is primarily adapted for aiding the dispensing and taking of contraceptive medication by women on an irregular schedule which must be properly synchronized with the physiological menstrual cycle of the individual. The dispenser is useful for dispensing any substance in tablet form and the indicia provided permit its use with a substance which must be dispensed on a schedule. The description herein of the invention and its use is directed primarily to dispensing contraceptive medication.

The principal object of this invention is to provide a new and improved dispenser particularly adapted for dispensing tablets on a schedule.

Another object of this invention is to provide a dispenser which serves as a simple and helpful aid to an individual taking medication on an irregular schedule.

A further object of this invention is to provide a dispenser having a novel construction that is easily contained in a case indistinguishable from a ladys tube of lipstick and adapted to be carried among the personal effects of a lady in a purse, or the like, without disclosing matters which are personal to the individual.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a tablet dispenser of the character described which is easily manipulatable and easily synchronized by the user with the personal schedule of the individual.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is an elevation view of a dispenser embodying the invention and encased within a cover simulating a tube of lipstick;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged elevation view of the dispenser with the cover removed;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view, taken generally along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the dispenser as shown in FIGURE 2, with the plunger element removed;

FIGURE 5 is a top plan view of the plunger element;

FIGURE 6 is a side elevation view of the plunger element of FIGURE 5; and

FIGURE 7 is a rear elevation view on a reduced scale of the dispenser of FIGURE 2.

The invention is illustrated herein as embodied in an elongated tablet dispenser incorporated in a construction indistinguishable from a ladys tube of lipstick, as illustrated in FIGURE 1. A tablet holder generally designated 10 (FIGURE 2) is adapted for insertion into a decorative removable tubular cover 12 (FIGURE 1). Thus, the dispenser comprises a novel construction which is adapted to be carried among the personal effects of a lady in a purse, or the like, without revealing matters which are personal to the individual. The holder 10 includes an enlarged base 14 having a plurality of peripheral lugs 14a about which the lower portion of the cover 12 is securely 3,365,599 Patented Jan. 23, 1968 positioned to space the cover from the balance of the holder. The lower end of the holder 10 has a sloped flange 16 with an upper surface 16a against which the lower edge of the cover 12 abuts.

The holder 10 is comprised of an elongate tubular member 18 which contains a plurality of tablets T stacked therein. The tubular member has an open end 20 (FIG- URE 4) which defines a mouth for dispensing the tablets one at a time from the end of the stacked adjacent the mouth. The mouth may be formed slightly smaller than the diameter of a tablet to prevent the tablets from falling therethrough, or the mouth may include several protrusions 28 to prevent accidental dispensing of a tablet. The tubular member 18 includes a marginal stifiFening flange 22 about the mouth. An elongate slot, generally designated 24, extends substantially the entire length of the tubular member 18 and extends into the mouth 20 to provide flexibility at the mouth to permit tablets to be forced therethrough. The slot 24 also provides a path for the movement of the plunger head (hereinafter described).

A plurality of teeth 25a are disposed along at least one side of the slot 24 and extend transversely into the slot. The teeth are spaced in accordance with the thickness of the tablets T stacked in the tubular member 18 whereby a gap 25b between adjacent teeth registers with a single tablet contained in the tubular member.

An actuating member in the form of a plunger element 26 is positioned in the tubular member at the end of the stack of tablets remote from the mouth of the tubular member. The plunger is the means through which manual force is transmitted to the stack of tablets to dispense them one at a time through the mouth 20. The plunger 26 includes a boss 26a extending into slot 24 and a pointer head 2612 at the outer end of boss 26a. The boss 26a is of such a size as to fit snugly in the gaps 25b between adjacent teeth 25a in slot 24. Thus, the application of force in the direction of arrow A (FIGURE 2) on the plunger head 26]) urges the plunger 26 against the remote end of the stack of tablets. Sutficient force will cause the boss to snap past a tooth 2511, thereby popping a single tablet from the open mouth 20 of the dispenser for every tooth passed by the boss.

The tablet holder 16 and plunger 26 may easily be molded of lightweight plastic material and the cover 12 may be formed of a metallic material thereby resembling a tube of lipstick or the like.

The indicia and markings embodied in the dispenser shown in the drawings are employed to adapt the holder of this invention for use by women in the taking of a contraceptive medication where dosage starts several days following the first day of the menstrual period. Obviously, the indicia may be much simpler for the systematic dispensing of tablets where the delayed starting of the use is not involved.

In the embodiment illustrated, a plurality of numerical indicia, generally designated I, are disposed along one side of the slot 24. The indicia shown include the numbers 5 through 25 inclusive intended to indicate the corresponding days in the menstrual cycle. The first tablet is taken on the fifth day of the menstrual cycle and another is taken on each successive day. The pointer-like plunger head 26]) moves with the plunger as the stack of pills are depleted and points to the particular numerical day of the menstrual cycle as the tablets are taken on a daily schedule.

In order to eliminate the necessity of keeping an independent record of the particular day when ones menstrual cycle started and what day of the week corresponds to the numbers 5 through 25 described above, a plurality of marking positions, generally designated M, are disposed on the opposite side of slot 24 in registry with the numerical indicia I. These positions are formed by a frosted or roughened surface area on the plastic tubular member, divided by 13, a plurality of dark lines 28, opposite teeth 25a, into an area for each tablet. The marking positions, being frosted, are adapted to receive writing such as the first letter of the days of the week, as illustrated in the drawings.

An individual may write the first letter of the day of the week which corresponds to the fifth day of her menstrual cycle opposite the numerical indicia 5, etc., successively through number 25. Thus, a schedule of taking pills can easily be synchronized with the personal schedule of the user by simply placing appropriate marks in the marking position-s. The day of the week marking positions, the gaps 255 between teeth 25a and the numerical indicia I are in transverse alignment. Tips 30 on each side of the plunger head, FIGURE 2, point to the indicia and the marking positions to provide a time reference indicator which facilitates rapid visual registration of the numerical indicia and the day of the week markings in relation to the number of tablets remaining in the dispenser and thus the particular time in the menstrual cycle.

The tablet dispenser of this invention is especially useful when employed with a systematic or sequential system of medication. For instance, a known sequential system of contraceptive medication requires tablets containing an estrogenic agent be taken from day 5 through day of the menstrual cycle and a tablet containing a progestational-estrogenic agent be taken from day 21 through day 25 of the menstrual cycle. The two types of tablets are preferably of diiferent colors to permit easy identification. Since the dispenser of this invention necessitates the dispensing of tablets one at a time from one end of a planned stack of tablets, the proper sequence of taking tablets in a systematic or sequential system is insured.

A grated window, generally designated W in FIGURE 7, is disposed diametrically opposite the slot 24 in the tubular member 18 and performs two functions in the embodiment of this invention, as illustrated in the drawings. The window provides support openings through which core pins may be inserted to stabilize the inner core of the mold during the molding of the plastic tubular member. Without stabilizing core pins, it is diificult to mold a concentric tubular member and a portion of the molten plastic material would bridge over the slot 24 Secondly, the window is positioned so that only one of the difierently colored progestational-estrogenic tablets is exposed when the dispenser is completely filled with its desired number of tablets whereby a rapid visual inspection insures that a correct number of each type of tablet is contained in the tubular member. Each layer of tablets lines up with each of the horizontal grill patterns in the window.

While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail an embodiment of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated. The scope of the invention willbe pointed out in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A tablet dispenser, comprising: an elongate tubular member containing a plurality of tablets stacked in one 4 end thereof, said one end being open to define a mouth for dispensing tablets from the stack, the periphery of the mouth being slightly smaller than a tablet to hold tablets in the tubular member against unintended dispensation, said tubular member including a slot extending the length of a full stack of tablets and through the open end of said tubular member to provide flexibility in the mouth for temporarily enlarging the mouth responsive to the application of force on the tablets in the direction of the mouth to afiect sequential dispensation of tablets out of said month, said slot having a plurality of teeth along one side thereof and extending into the slot, adjacent teeth being spaced at distance equal to the thickness of a tablet, and a plunger element in said tubular member at the end of the stack of tablets remote from said mouth, said plunger element being adapted to transmit force to the remote end of the stack of tablets to dispense tablets from the stack through said month, said plunger element including a boss extending into said slot, said boss fitting snugly in a gap between adjacent teeth in said slot whereby on forcing said plunger against the stack of tablets said boss snaps past said teeth, popping a single tablet from g the dispenser for every tooth passed by said boss.

2. The tablet dispenser of claim 1 including numerical indicia on said tubular member along said slot, said indicia being correlated with the length of the slot, the teeth extending into said slot, the thickness of individual tablets and sequential units of time within a cycle to relate the tablets remaining in the dispenser to a portion of time remaining in the cycle to verify proper usage of the tablets.

3. The tablet dispenser of claim 1 including a window in said tubular member remote from said slot, a portion of the window positioned relative to the top of the stack of tablets when the dispenser is filled with its desired number of tablets to provide a rapid visual inspection means for determining that the correct number of tablets is contained in the tubular member.

4. The tablet dispenser of claim 2 wherein said tubular member has a plurality of discrete marking positions on one side of the slot, each being correlated with the tablets, the numerical indicia along the slot and the teeth extending into said slot, for receiving markings by a user at the initiation of a critical portion of a cycle to permit the dispensing of tablets on a schedule by placing opposite each tablet the appropriate marking corresponding to the desired schedule of usage thereby synchronizing the tablet dispenser with the personal schedule of the user.

5. The tablet dispenser of claim 4 wherein the marking positions are located on said tubular member on the side of said slot opposite the teeth that extend into the slot and wherein the plunger has a pointer portion directed toward the marking positions and the indicia to facilitate rapid visual registration of the marking positions in relation to the number of tablets remaining in the dispenser as the plunger bears against the remote end of the stack of tablets.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,973,903 9/1934 King 206-56 3,112,046 11/1963 Szekely 22l267 X 3,265,201 8/ 1966 Edwards 20656 STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1973903 *Feb 23, 1933Sep 18, 1934King Angela VCosmetic container
US3112046 *Aug 23, 1960Nov 26, 1963George SzekelyTablet dispenser
US3265201 *Feb 24, 1964Aug 9, 1966Edwards David LHolder and dispenser for longitudinally disposed material
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4174048 *Oct 4, 1977Nov 13, 1979Volpe John J JrTablet retaining and dispensing device
US4485925 *Mar 9, 1981Dec 4, 1984Fickert Richard AReceptacle for administering insulin
US4616752 *Oct 30, 1984Oct 14, 1986Brad RidgleyPill dispenser
US4984709 *Feb 5, 1990Jan 15, 1991Primary Delivery Systems, Inc.Non-reversing tablet dispenser with counter
US5269413 *Sep 4, 1992Dec 14, 1993George SternContainer for pills
US6793075 *May 30, 2002Sep 21, 2004Michael JeterContainer for dispensing a liquid and method of using the same
US7604124 *Jun 14, 2007Oct 20, 2009Rexam Healthcare Packaging Inc.Dispensing container and package for pelletized products
US8061586Dec 12, 2006Nov 22, 2011Wm. Wrigley Jr. CompanyComestible product dispensers and methods of making and using same
US8821452Aug 26, 2010Sep 2, 2014Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbhReminder device for a pen-shaped medical delivery device
US8955714 *Mar 20, 2012Feb 17, 2015The Boeing CompanyPortable cleco type fastener dispenser
US9016516 *May 9, 2011Apr 28, 2015Mallinckrodt LlcPen-type pharmaceutical product dispenser
US20050205752 *Mar 16, 2004Sep 22, 2005Mick PauliMedication vial anti-tipping
US20050218198 *Apr 4, 2005Oct 6, 2005Cavero Dio CComestible product dispensers and methods of making and using same
US20050236419 *Apr 22, 2004Oct 27, 2005Jason MoenikeijComestible product dispensers and methods of making and using same
US20110272426 *Nov 10, 2011Mallinckrodt Inc.Pen-type pharmaceutical product dispenser
WO1994006397A1 *Sep 8, 1993Mar 31, 1994Fraunhofer Ges ForschungPack designed to hold and individually dispense pills contained in a holder
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/267, 206/499, 206/459.1, 206/535, 206/531
International ClassificationA61J7/04, B65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2583/0477, B65D2583/0431, B65D2583/0409, A61J7/04, B65D83/0409
European ClassificationB65D83/04A, A61J7/04