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Publication numberUS3688945 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 5, 1972
Filing dateOct 12, 1970
Priority dateOct 12, 1970
Publication numberUS 3688945 A, US 3688945A, US-A-3688945, US3688945 A, US3688945A
InventorsGranatek Alphonse Peter, Harman Arlington Raymond Jr
Original AssigneeBristol Myers Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Recording tablet dispenser
US 3688945 A
Abstract
A disposable tablet dispenser which is also capable of indicating the time at which a tablet was dispensed, is provided. The dispenser is formed of at least two concentrically aligned cylinders. The innermost cylinder is provided with a means for dispensing a tablet therefrom into a tablet receptacle. The tablet receptacle is located in a dispensing means, which means when moved to a position from which a tablet may be dispensed, simultaneously moves the outermost cylinder about the innermost cylinder. By providing the outermost cylinder with spaced printing, such as the days of the week, the time at which a tablet was dispensed is indicated when the dispenser means moves the printed time to a designated location.
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Harman, Jr. et al.

[451 Sept. 5, 1972 RECORDING TABLET DISPENSER Inventors: Arlington Raymond Harman, Jr., Manlius; Alphonse Peter Granatek, Baldwinsville, both of NY.

Bristol-Myers Company, New York, NY.

Filed: Oct. 12, 1970 App]. No.: 80,026

Assignee:

US. Cl. ..221/8, 206/42, 221/198 Int. Cl. ..B65d 83/04 Field of Search ..221/2, 4, 5, 8, 197, 198, 279, 221/280, 287; 206/42 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Gervais ..221/198X 3,119,521 l/l964 Taylor ..221/287 Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Thomas E. Kocovsky Att0rney- -Herbert W. Taylor, Jr., Robert E. Havranek and James Mage, Jr.

[57] ABSTRACT A disposable tablet dispenser which is also capable of I indicating the time at which a tablet was dispensed, is provided. The dispenser is formed of at least two concentrically aligned cylinders. The innermost cylinder is provided with a means for dispensing a tablet therefrom into a tablet receptacle. The tablet receptacle is located in a dispensing means, which means when moved to aposition from which a tablet may be dispensed, simultaneously moves the outermost cylinder about the innermost cylinder. By providing the outermost cylinder with spaced printing, such as the days of the week, the time at which a tablet was dispensed is indicated when the dispenser means moves the printed time to a designated location.

17 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSEP" 5 I972 SHEET 1 OF 4 INVENTORS A. R. HARMAN A. P. GRANATEK PATENTEI] 8E? 5 I97? sum 2 or 4 mm NF vim-30:04

INVENTORS A. R. HARMAN A. P GRANATEK PATENTEDSEP 5 I972 sum 3 or 4 INVENTORS A. R. HARMAN A. P GRANATEK RECORDING TABLET DISPENSER FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to dispensing means. More particularly, this invention relates to means for dispensing tablets such as medicaments and the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Very often it is necessary-or desirable to use tablets at set times within an overall period. All to often the recollection of when the last tablet was used and when the next tablet is to be used is left entirely to the memory of the user. Such a situation, of course, results in errors which diminish the effectiveness of the tablets as a whole, and at times may actually be dangerous.

One area in which tablets are very often required to be used at set times within an overall period, is in the treatment of a patient with a medicament. The particurecorded or otherwise indicated.

lar treatment and medicament used may be anyone of a number of well known types such as for example, the periodic and regular use of antibiotic tablets to treat an infection.

Within this area of medicament treatment there is included the periodic use of contraceptive pills. Treatment of a patient with contraceptive pills, in accordance with prevailing practice, requires that a women take the first pill on the fifth day of her menstrual cycle and thereafter take one pill a day for 19 days. At the end of this 20 day period and upon consumption of 20 pills, treatment is suspended and the patient is allowed to experience her normal menstrual period. Upon the fifth'day of the menstrual period, treatment with 20 more contraceptive pills is resumed as before.

It is a well-acknowledged fact that to be effective, it

is absolutely necessary that a contraceptive pill be taken once a day for 20 straight days. Should the taking of a pill be inadvertently omitted on any one of these 20 days, the effectiveness of the treatment is materially diminished. All too often the recollection of when the last pill was taken and when the next pill is to be taken is left entirely to the memory of the patient.

In many instances where means have been devised for indicating when the last pill was taken, the means devised are either too inaccurate, too inconvenient or too complicated to use, or are extremely expensive to make and thus materially add to the cost of the pills.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention to provide the tablet dispensing industry and particularly manufacturers and users of contraceptive pills with a devise for dispensing pills and for indicating when such a pill has been taken, or otherwise directing the user. Such a devise may be reusable or disposable, extremely accurate, convenient and uncomplicated to use, and inexpensive to manufacture.

Generally speaking, the tablet dispensing devices contemplated by this invention are comprised of at least two concentrically aligned cylinder means wherein the innermost cylinder means is provided with means for dispensing one or more tablets into a tablet receptacle. The tablet receptacle is located in a means for receiving the tablets to be dispensed and upon movement of said means, carrying them to a position BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The advantages of the present invention will be more fully apparent in view of the detailed description, taken in conjunction with the drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of one embodiment of a tablet dispenser in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the dispenser of FIG. 1, illustrating the disposition of a tablet receiving and carrying means in the receiving position;

FIG. 3 is a partial sectional elevational view, with portions removed and broken away for the sake of clarity, of a cover means which comprises part of the dispenser shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the cover means shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a partial sectional elevational view, with portions removed and broken away for the sake of clarity, of the outermost cylinder means which comprises part of the dispenser shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a partial elevational view, with portions removed and broken away for the sake of clarity, of the innermost cylinder means which comprises part of the dispenser shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the innermost cylinder means of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the tablet receiving and carrying means illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the tablet receiving and carrying means of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a partial sectional elevational view, with portions removed and broken away for the sake of clarity, of a tablet cartridge employed in the dispenser shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the tablet cartridge of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of a tablet dispenser in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the dispenser of FIG. 12, illustrating the disposition of its tablet receiving and carrying means in the dispensing position;

FIG. 14 is a sectional view, taken along the line 14- 14 of FIG. 2, illustrating the relative disposition of the various components comprising the assembled dispenser of FIG. 1;

FIG. 15 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 14, with portions removed and broken away for the sake of clarity, illustrating the manner in which tablets are dispensed as the tablet receiving and carrying means is moved from the receiving to the dispensing position; and

FIG. 16 is a sectional view, taken along line 16-16 of FIG. 13, illustrating the internal details of the assembled dispenser of FIG. 12.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-11, 14 and 15, there is shown one embodiment of a tablet dispenser as contemplated by the present invention. As illustrated, .most clearly in FIG. 1, the tablet dispenser 1, which is conveniently cylindrical in shape and, for the most part, made of inexpensive plastic, opaque or transparent, so that the dispenser 1 is inexpensive to make-and thus disposable, comprises a disposable pill or tablet cartridge 10, an innermost cylinder means 30 adapted to receive the tablet cartridge 10, an outermost cylinder means 50, a tablet,

receiving and carrying means 70, and a cover means Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 10, the tablet cartridge comprises a vertically elongated cylindrical body 11 having a tablet containing axial bore or passageway 12 extending, therethrough. The upper portion of the cylindrical body .11 is provided with an enlarged cross-section 13 having external threads 14 adapted for intermeshing engagement with corresponding internal threads 35 on the innermost cylinder means 30. The lower end of the cylindrical cartridge body 11 is provided with an enlarged cap means 15 which is rigidly connected to the cartridge body by means of radial connectors 16. The connectors 16 may be force fitted, cemented, glued or otherwise fastened to the cartridge body. As illustrated in FIG. 10, the bottom surface 17 of the cap means 15 preferably comprises a flexible material, such as plastic or rubber and is disposed below the lower end of the cartridge body 1 1 so that exertion of a force against the surface 17, for example, by pressing ones finger thereagainst, causes the surface 17 to distort and move toward the bottom end of the cartridge body 11. Located at the bottom surface 17, and extending upwardly therefrom and into the passageway 12 is a tablet dispensing means consisting of a coil spring 18 and a tablet platform 19. As illustrated, the passageway 12 is preferably provided with projecting 'members 20 designed to retain the tablet platform 19in the position shown in FIG. 10 until the platform is physically forced passed the projections by a force applied upwardly against the bottom surface 17 of a cap means 15. While it is to be appreciated that any conventional coil spring and platform may be used, the most preferred type for the purposes of this invention are illustrated in the figures. Referring now to FIGS. 1, 6 and 14, there is illustrated one embodiment of an innermost cylinder means 30 suitable for use in combination with the above-described tablet cartridge 10. Generally speaking, the innermost cylinder means 30 is comprised of a cylindrical body 31 having a longitudinally extending bore 32 for receiving the tablet cartridge 10. As shown most clearly in FIGS. 6 and 14, the walls of the innermost cylinder means 30 which define the internal bore 32 are thickened in step-wise fashion near the upper end of the cylindrical body 31 to define a first bore restriction 33 substantially equal in diameter to the enlarged cross section 13 of the tablet cartridge 10, and a second bore restriction 34 substantially equal in diameter to the diameter of the passageway 12 which extends through the tablet cartridge 10. The bore restrictions 33 is provided with internal threads 35 for cooperating engagement with the threads 14 on the tablet cartridge 10 such that when the table cartridge 10 is engaged with the innermost cylinder means 30, the restriction 34 is aligned with the passageway 12.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 6, the upper end of the restriction 34 terminates in a generally laterally extending groove or cut-out 36, the groove 36 being larger than either the opening of the restriction34 or the passageway 12. The radius of the groove 36 is sufficiently large to facilitate the operation of the tablet receiving and carrying means described more fully hereinbelow. In a preferred embodiment, a portion of the groove 36 is provided with a second groove 37,

disposed generally transversely relative to the groove 36, to facilitate removal of a tablet from the tablet receiving and carrying means when the latter means is disposed in its dispensing position. The top surface 38 of the innermost cylinder means 30 is provided with a snap clamp means 39 located at each end of the longitudinal groove 36. The snap clamp means 39 face one another and are provided with aligned snap grooves 40 for receiving and retaining the tablet receiving and carrying means 70. The lowermost end of the cylindrical body 31 is provided with a thickened cross section to define an offset or flange-like portion 41 which functions to support the means 30 on the radial connectors 16 and the upper pheripheral surface of the cap means 15. As will be discussed more fully hereinbelow, the cylindrical body 31 is also provided with the second offset or flange-like portion 42 immediately above the flange-like portion 41.

Referring now to FIGS. 1, 5 and 14, there is shown,

generally cylindrical outermost cylinder means 50 embodying certain principles of the present invention. As shown, the outermost cylinder means 50 is provided at its upper end with gear teeth 51. At its lower end, the cylinder means 50 is provided with an enlarged diameter section 52 which cooperates with the flange-like portion 42 of the cylinder means 30 to insure that the innermost cylinder means 30 and the outermost cylinder means 50 are properly aligned. As illustrated in FIG. 14, a space 53 between the enlarged diameter section 52 and the offset 42 is provided with a conventional coil spring 54 which forces the gear teeth 51 into interacting relationship with the tablet receiving and carrying means 70 as hereinafter described. Intermediate the opposite ends of the outermost cylinder means 50 there is provided, in longitudinal columnar form, suitable indicia or displaying means, as for example, printed or etched material such as the time of day, day of week, instructions as to how and when to take a tablet, or the like. As illustrated in FIG. 1, for example, when the dispenser l is adapted for dispensing contraceptive pills, the cylinder means 50 is preferably provided with the days of the week printed longitudinally and equally spaced around the circumference thereof.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 8 and 9, there is illustrated one embodiment of a tablet receiving and carrying means as contemplated by this invention. The tablet receiving and carrying means 70 is provided with a tablet receptacle 71 which is slightly larger in diameter than the restriction 34 and is sufficiently large to receive the number of tablets required to be used for any one feeding (i. e. as illustrated in FIG. 14, only one tablet is to be used at a time in this instance). The receptacle 71 is located in a carrying wheel 72 and is sufiiciently large such that when it receives a tablet and slides it over the surface of the groove 36 and onto the surface of the groove 37, the tablet will not be chipped or broken. In order to insure that the receptacle 71 is properly aligned with the upper end of the restriction 34 and grooves 36 and 37, axle means 73 are provided. The

axle means 73 extend substantially parallel with the and carrying means 70 by securing it against any sub- 7 stantial lateral or transverse movement while allowing rotational movement thereof about the longitudinal axis of axle means 73.

The tablet receiving and carrying means 70 is further provided with rotatable gear wheel 74 having thereon gear teeth 75 which, when the dispenser 1 is assembled, intermesh with gear teeth 51 to substantially their full depth. In this respect, the gear teeth 75 and gear teeth 51 are preferably arranged and shaped such that they provide a pawl and ratchet type engagement. In other words, it is preferred that rotation of the gear wheel 74, for example, in the clockwise direction will cause the gear teeth 75 to intermesh with the gear teeth 51 so as to transmit rotation to the cylinder means 50; while rotation of the gear wheel 74 in the counter-clockwise direction will cause the gear teeth 75 to disengage and slip over the gear teeth 51.

The tablet receiving and carrying means 70 is also provided with a tab 76 to facilitate movement of the gear wheel 74 about the axle means 73. In FIG. 15, the tab 76 is shown in its vertical position so that a tablet in the receptacle 71 is ready to be dispensed. In FIGS. 1, 2 and 14, the tab 76 is shown in its horizontal position, and a tablet (FIG. 14) is shown being dispensed into the receptacle 71 from a column of tablets disposed in the passageway 12 by the upward pressure of the coil spring 18 on the platform 19. Thus, once a tablet is dispensed into receptacle 71, the tab 76 may be moved from its horizontal position to its vertical position to thereby carry a tablet to a position from which it may be dispensed.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 3 and 4, the dispenser 1 is provided with a cover means 80. The cover means 80 may be formed of any convenient material such as opaque plastic and is of sufficient size so that, as illustrated, it will fit concentrically over the smaller diameter section of outermost cylinder means 50 and so that its lower end 81 will rest in overlapping fashion on the outer and upper surface 55 of enlarged diameter section 52. The cover means 80 is provided in its side wall with a view window or slot 82 which, when dispenser 1 is assembled, will be aligned with the outermost cylinder means 50 so that one day of the week (i.e. one longitudinal recording on the cylinder means 50) can be seen.

The cover 80 is further provided with guide plates 83 which have a slot 84 therein. The guide plates 83 are so aligned that when cover 80 is placed over dispenser 1, the slots 84 fit over the axle means 73 and guide plates 83fit abutingly and engagingly into offset grooves 43 of the snap clamp 39. In this manner, guide plates 83 may be glued or otherwise secured to the walls of offset grooves 43; thus securing the cover to the rest of dispenser 1.

The cover 80 is further provided with tab slot 85. The tab slot extends into cover 80 about one half of its cylindrical diameter. In addition, the tab slot 85 extends downwardly into cover 80 to the point of intersection with the extension of the horizontal diameter of tablet receiving and carrying means 70. Such alignment of tab slot 85, when tab 76 extends therethrough and beyond, serves as a guide and stop mechanism for tab 76, whereby tab 76 and means 70 can only be rotated about Of course, it is clear that such an angle is in no way critical since in another embodiment tab slot 85 may extendacross the entire width of cover 80, thus allowing tab 76 and means 70 to be rotated a full However, 90 of rotation is sufficient for the purposes of this invention and thus is preferred.

The cover means 80 is further provided with an offset space 86. The offset space 86 is so designed that when cover 80 is inserted over the internal works of the dispenser l, the gear wheel 74 movably fits therein.

In order to insure that the indicia appearing through view window 82 are not moved or jarred out of alignment upon return of tab 76 from its vertical to itshorizontal position (i.e. the return of tablet receiving its receiving position), counter-rotation pin or stop means 87 is provided in a wall of the cover means 80. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the counter-rotation pin 87 is sufficiently long so as to extend into engaging contact with teeth 51 of cylinder means 50. In addition, pin 87 is located at a point on the wall of cover means 80 so that it does notextend sufiiciently far into a recess 56 of teeth 51 to cause disengagement of teeth 51 with teeth 75 when the tab 76 is moved from its horizontal to its vertical position. For example, if teeth 51 and 75 are 3/64 inch in depth and means 70 is so aligned with cylinder means 50 that teeth 75 and 51 substantially completely mesh, the pin 87 should be positioned so as to extend only about 1/64 inch into the depth of teeth 51. Thus, when the tab 76 is rotated from horizontal to vertical during tablet dispensing, teeth 51 and cylinder means 50 will be depressed downwardly against coil spring 18 only l/64 inch, leaving 2/64 inch engagement with teeth 75 to insure complete rotation and accurate alignment of the indicia on cylinder means 50 in viewwindow 82. Upon return of tab 76 from its vertical to its horizontal position to enable receptacle 71 to be refilled with another tablet, teeth 75 will slide over teeth 51 while pin 87 prevents counter-rotation of teeth 51 and cylinder means 50. The ability of the tablet receiving and carrying means 70 to return to the position shown in FIG. 1, i.e., with the tab 76 in the horizontal position, is provided by a downward movement of cylinder means 50 against the pressure exerted by the spring 54, thereby allowing the teeth 75 to slide past the teeth 51. This downward movement is not great enough to permit the teeth 51 to disengage from the pin 87. Since gear systems of this type are conventional, actual construction of this mechanism, including tolerances etc. will depend upon the individual dispenser used and is well within the skill of the artisan.

In assembling the dispenser 1, the outermost cylinder means 50 is slipped over the innermost cylinder means 30 with the spring 54 in place. The tablet receiving and carrying means 70 is then fit into the top of the innermost cylinder means 30 and is held in place by the cover means 80 which is fitted concentrically over the cylinder means 50 and cemented orv otherwise fastened to the top thereof. The tablet cartridge 10 is then assembled by inserting the tablet platform 19 into the coil spring 18, inserting the spring 18 into the passageway 12, and then simultaneously compressing the spring 18 and moving the platform 19 to the position shown in FIG. 10 by filling the passageway 12 with a stack of tablets. Next, a fully assembled tablet cartridge 10 is inserted into the innermost cylinder means 30 such that the threads 14 and 35 are mutually engaged. Finally, the bottom surface 17 on the cap means is pressed to force the tablet platform 19 past the restraining projections so that the coil spring 18 tends to expand and thereby advance the tablet platform 19 toward the receptacle 71. Of course, the actual sequence of steps necessary to assemble the dispenser 1 may vary as desired. In addition, the invention also contemplates the use of pre-assembled tablet cartridges 10 which can be purchased from a pharmacy, for example, and which will relieve the user from having to handle loose tablets and from having to determine the proper number of tablets, or the order in which such tablets should be stacked in the passageway 12. Of course, such tablet cartridges would include a cap or closure means over the upper opening of the passageway 12 to prevent inadvertent loss of the tablets contained therein.

Another embodiment of a tablet dispenser contemplated by the present invention is shown in FIGS. 12, 13 and 15. For the most part, this dispenser, designated generally as 100, is the same as that previously described. In fact, the dispenser 100 may employ the same cover means 80, outermost cylinder means 50 and tablet receiving and'carrying means 70 as employed in the dispenser 1. As illustrated most clearly in FIGS. 12 and 15, the dispenser 100 differs from the dispenser 1 in that it comprises an innermost cylinder means 300 which replaces the innermost cylinder means and the tablet cartridge 10 of the dispenser 1. In addition, the dispenser 100 includes a base plate 350 which is cemented or otherwise bonded to the innermost cylinder means 300. More particularly, the innermost cylinder means 300 comprises a cylindrical body having a longitudinally extending passageway 30] which extends only partially through the cylinder means 300 and which terminates at a wall 302. Located at the wall 302 and extending upwardly therefrom is a tablet dispensing means consisting of a coil spring 303 and a tablet platform 304. As is the case with the dispenser 1, any well known type of coil spring and platform may be used in conjunction with the dispenser 100.

At its open end 305, the cylindrical passageway 301 I terminates in a generally laterally extending groove or cut-out 306. In operation, the coil spring 303 is compressed and the platform 304 carries a designated number of tablets which are dispensed as hereinafter more fully described through the opened end 305 of the passageway 301. The lateral groove 306 is larger than the open end 305 and is of sufficient radius such that when a tablet is removed therefrom by the tablet receiving and carrying means 70, the tablet will slide freely without breakage. As is the case with the innermost cylinder means 30, a second groove 307 is provided generally transversely across part of the groove 306 to facilitate removal of a tablet from the receptacle 71 of the tablet receiving and carrying means when the latter is disposed in the dispensing position. On the top surface 308 of the cylinder means 300 there is provided a snap clamp 309 located at each end of the lateral groove 306. The snap clamps 309 face one another and are provided with aligned snap grooves 310 for receiving and retaining the tablet receiving and carrying means 70. The snap clamps 309 are also provided with offset grooves 311 which correspond to the offset grooves 43 of the snap clamps 39.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 12 and 16, a dispenser 100 is provided with a base plate 350. Located in the center of the base plate 350 is a longitudinal hole or bore 351 extending through the entire length of the base plate. The hole 350 is of sufficient diameter, as illustrated in FIG. 16, so that the lower end of the innermost cylinder means 300 may be inserted therein and then glued or otherwise permanently attached to the base 350. As illustrated, when the cylindrical means 300 is inserted into the hole 351, the bottom or outside surface of wall 302 is flush with the bottom surface of the base plate. 0n the upper surface of the base plate, there are located at evenly spaced intervals, four guide bars 352. These guide bars 352 serve to retain the outermost cylinder means 50 in proper alignment with the innermost cylinder means 300 as well as to preserve the integrity of the offset space 53 and the position of the coil spring 54.

In assembling the dispenser 100, the tablet platform 304 is placed in the coil spring 303 and this subassembly is then dropped longitudinally into the passageway 301 so that the coil spring 303 abuts wall 302. The innermost cylinder means 300 is then glued or otherwise fastened in the hole 351 of the base plate 350 as heretofore described. The base plate 350 is then provided with the coil spring 54 which surrounds the guides 352. The outermost cylinder means 50 is then slid down over the cylinder means 300 and guides 352 until the offset space 53 is formed and the cylinder means 50 engages the coil spring 54. The passageway 302 is then filled with, for example, 20 contraceptive tablets and if desired, four placeboes. It is to be understood, of course, that the coil spring 303 is sufficiently expandable so that the platform 304 will push each and every tablet into the receptacle 71 even though a tablet may be the last one left. With the tablets loaded and the coil spring 303 held in compression, the tablet carrying and receiving means 70 is snapped into place in grooves 310 of clamps 309, thus holding the coil spring 303 in compression. Assembly cover means over the partially assembled dispenser and then gluing or otherwise attaching the cover means 80 in place on the offset grooves 311 of the clamps 309. After assembly in the above-described manner, the dispenser 1 and/or may then be given to a patient for use.

In those instances where four placeboes are included as the first four pills to be dispensed, the patient, on the first day of her menstrual period, say for example MONDAY, merely grasps enlarged diameter section 52 of the outermost cylinder means 50 and pulls the cylinder means 50 down sufficiently far to disengage the teeth 51 from teeth 75. With the gear teeth disengaged, the patient then rotates section 52 (i.e. cylinder means 50) until the word MONDAY is recorded in the view-window 82. Section 52 is then released and the spring coil 54 forces the'teeth 51 to re-engage with the teeth 75. The patient then makes sure that the tab 76 is fully in its horizontal position to insure that a pill has been dispensed into receptacle 71. With this adjustment accomplished, the patient then rotates the tab 76, 90 to its vertical position. By doing so the cylinder means 50 is rotated so that the word TUESDAY now appears in view-window 82. The patient then takes the pill (placebo) and returns the tab 76 to its horizontal position. Because of the pin 87 etc. such a return is accomplished without any substantial movement of the word TUESDAY out of alignment with view-window 82. The next pill (or placebo) is then forced into the receptacle 71. The indicia or recording in the view-window 82 indicates to the patient that she must take her next pill on TUESDAY. Obviously, by using four placeboes the fifth day of the menstrual period results in the dispensing of a true contraceptive pill. Although placeboes need not be used, they are preferred, since there is less change of error if a patient need only remember to start taking pills on the first day of her menstrual period, rather than having to remember to count days into this period.

Alternatively, instead of recording the day on which the next pill must be taken, the dispenser l or 100 may be used to record the last day on which a pill was taken. The patient may accomplish this simply be dispensing and taking the first pill (or placebo) and then adjusting the cylinder means 50 as hereinbefore described so that view-window 82 indicates the day on which she took the pill. Thereafter, the dispenser 1 or 100 will record the day on which the patient has taken the pill and thereby indicates to her the next day on which she must take the pill.

In order to avoid any confusion in the mind of the patient as to which adjusting procedure she has used or should use, directions may be provided, for example, over the view-window 82. Such directions may read, for example, Day on Which LAST Pill was Taken. When these directions are printed on the cover means 80 above the view-window 82, the patient is merely instructed to use the appropriate adjusting procedure. Accuracy is thereby assured and the risk of errant treatment is materially reduced.

Once given the above disclosure it will become clear that the tablet dispensers of this invention maybe used to dispense tablets generally and are not limited to use as contraceptive pill dispensers. in addition, and once given the above disclosure, many other features, modifications, and embodiments of this invention will become apparent to the skilled artisan. Such features, modifications, and embodiments are therefore considered within this invention, the scope of which is to be determined by the following claims.

I claim:

1. A tablet dispenser comprising:

a. concentrically aligned inner and outer cylinders, said inner cylinder having therein means for dispensing at least one tablet into a tablet receptacle;

. said tablet receptacle being located in a means for receiving the tablets to be dispensed and, upon movement of said means, carrying said tablets to a position from which they may be dispensed, said tablet receiving and carrying means comprises a carrying whee] having therein said tablet receptacle, gear means for interconnecting said tablet receiving and carrying means with said outer cylinder, axle means connecting said carrying wheel and said gear means, and means for rotating said carrying wheel and gear wheel about said axle means;

. said outer cylinder being connected to said tablet receiving and carrying means of (b) above, such that upon movement of said tablet receiving and carrying means from its receiving position to its dispensing position, said outer cylinder is caused to revolve about said inner cylinder; and

. recording means, located at least in part on said outer cylinder, for recording the movement of said tablet receiving and carrying means from its receiving position to its dispensing position.

2. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 1 wherein said means for dispensing at least one tablet into a tablet receptacle is comprised of a cylindrical passageway longitudinally located in said inner cylinder, a coil spring, and a tablet platform, said coil spring being located in abutting fashion with a lower terminal wall of said cylindrical passageway and extending longitudinally upwardly therein, said tablet platform being located, at least in part, at the upper end of said coil spring.

3. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 2 wherein said cylindrical passage is longitudinally located in a tablet cartridge threadedly engaged and longitudinally located in said inner cylinder, and

wall spaced a predetermined distance from the bottom of said passageway, said flexible wall being movable toward the said bottom of said passageway in response to pressure applied against said wall.

4. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 1 wherein said gear means comprises a gear wheel having teeth therein and wherein said outer cylinder comprises teeth on one end thereof which intermesh with the teeth of said gear wheel to interconnect said outer cylinder and said tablet receiving and carrying means such that when said gear means is rotated in the direction of mesh said outermost cylinder is revolved a predetermined distance about said inner cylinder.

5. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 4 further including a cover means concentrically located about said outer cylinder, said cover means having a predisposed view-window such that a predetermined which also includes a base plate, said base plate being attached to a portion of said inner cylinder and being so located as to define a circumferential space between a surface thereof and a portion of said outer cylinder,

and spring means located circumferentially in said space for forcing the teeth of said outer cylinder into meshing relationship with the teeth of said gear means. 7. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim further includinga tablet cartridge threadedly engaged and longitudinally located in said inner cylinder, said cartridge including said cylindrical passageway,

cap means fixedly connected to the lower end of said cartridge, said cap means comprising a flexible bottom wall spaced a predetermined distance from said lower end of said cartridge for supporting said coil spring and tablet platform,

each of saidinner and outer cylinders having an enlarged diameter section at their respective lower ends to define a circumferential space between an outer surface of said inner cylinder and an inner surface of said outer cylinder, and

spring means located circumferentially in said space for forcing the teeth of said outer cylinder into meshing relationship with the teeth of said gear means. I

8. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 6 further including counter-rotation means for preventing the rotation of said outer cylinder about said inner cylinder when said gear means is rotated in a direction opposite to the direction of mesh. 9. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 7 further including counter-rotation means for preventing the rotation of said outer cylinder about said inner cylinder when said gear means is rotated in a direction opposite to the direction of mesh.

10. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 8 wherein said counter-rotation means comprises a pin located in a wall of said cover means, said pin extend ing longitudinally therefrom into at least a portion of a recess defined by the teeth of said outer cylinder.

11. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 9 wherein said counter-rotation means comprises a pin located in a wall of said. cover means, said pin extending longitudinally therefrom into at least aportion of a wherein said inner cylinder includes a laterally extending groove in its upper surface into which said cylindrical passageway terminates, said inner cylinder also including clamp means for holding and aligning said axle means which connects said gear means with said carrying wheel in such a manner that when said tablet receiving and carrying means is in its receiving position, said tablet receptacle is aligned over the terminal end of said cylindrical hole, said laterally extending groove being larger in width than the diameter of said cylindrical hole.

13. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 11 wherein said inner cylinder includes a laterally extendgroove being larger in width than the diameter of said c lindrical hole.

l4. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 12 wherein a portion of said lateral groove is provided with a second groove generally perpendicularly disposed relative to said lateral groove and to the longitudinal axis of said inner cylinder, said second groove extending to the periphery of said inner cylinder.

15. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 13 wherein a portion of said lateral groove is provided with a second groove generally perpendicularly disposed relative to said lateral groove and to the longitudinal axis of said inner cylinder, said second groove extending to the periphery of said inner cylinder.

16. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 10 wherein said recording means records a different day of the week through said view-window each time a tablet is dispensed therefrom.

17. A tablet dispenser in accordance with claim 11 wherein said recording means records a different day of the week through said view-window each time a tablet is dispensed therefrom.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/8, 206/535, 206/534, 221/198
International ClassificationB65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/0418, B65D2583/0495
European ClassificationB65D83/04A1