US 3746154 A
A tablet dispenser for a pill bottle. The dispenser has a cylindrical body which fits into the open neck of the bottle and defines an axially extending passage of such size that only one tablet or pill can pass through. There is a gravity actuated retainer which slides across the passage when the bottle is tipped. A part of the retainer is accessible so that it can be manually held in non-obstructing position.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ilnited States Patent Gach 1 1 July '17, 1973 1 1 TABLET DISPENSER 3,601,250 8/1971 Merila .1 206/42 Inventor: Peter P Gac a s i e, lnd 3,638,830 2/1972 Belokin 206/42 X  Assignee: Sunbeam Plastics Corporation, FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Evansville Ind 941,925 1/1949 France 206/15 122] Filed: 1971 Primary Examiner-Georgc E. Lowrance Appl. No.: 191,016
Assistant Examiner-Stevcn Lipman Attorney-Carl F. Schaffer, Henry K Leonard et :11.
 ABSTRACT A tablet dispenser for a pill bottle. The dispenser has a cylindrical body which fits into the open neck of the bottle and defines an axially extending passage of such size that only one tablet or pill can pass through. There is a gravity actuated retainer which slides across the passage when the bottle is tipped. A part of the retainer is accessible so that it can be manually held in nonobstructing position. v
3 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Patnfed July 17, 1973 INVENTOR: A CH.
PE TEE P G TABLET DISPENSER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Tablets and pills of various types frequently are sold in bottles having threaded necks with caps, such bottles and caps coming in several standard sizes. Most frequently, such tablets or pills are to be taken at regular intervals and in quantities of one, two, or three tablets at a time. It would be desirable if some means were readily provided in the bottle to permit the dispensing of tablets from the bottle one at a time so that excess tablets would not be poured into the palm of a hand. In addition, most tablet-containing bottles have no means for preventing spillage of the tablets if the bottle is inadvertently knocked over or otherwise turned on its side.
Many efforts have been made to devise closures for such bottles which will prevent their being opened by small children. The usual attempted solution is a cap which is difficult to remove. However, such caps usually cannot be put onto the bottles by conventional capping machinery and often are so complicated as to substantially increase the cost of the caps.
It is therefore the principal object of the instant invention to provide a very inexpensive tablet dispensing means adapted to be inserted into the neck of a pill or tablet bottle and having an automatically acting retainer which prevents tablets from falling out of the bottle unless the retainer is specifically held in nonobstructing position and which permits only one tablet at a time to be dispensed from the bottle.
It is another object of the instant invention to provide a tablet dispenser which fits into the neck of a conventional screw cap bottle and which has a retainer so designed as to normally prevent egress of tablets or pills from the bottle unless it is manually held in nonobstructing position, being difficult of management by a small child.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, vertical, sectional view, on an enlarged scale, of a tablet containing bottle equipped with a dispenser embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a horizontal, sectional view taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a horizontal, sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, vertical sectional view, similar to FIG. 1, but shown on an enlarged scale, and illustrating how the retainer is automatically moved into non-obstructing position when the bottle is tilted backwardly;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 but showing the bottle as equipped with the dispenser embodying the invention tipped into tablet dispensing position and the retainer manually held in non-obstructingposition;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view, similar to a portion of FIG. 5, and illustrating how the retainer automatically is moved into tablet retaining position in-the absence'of manual engagement; and
FIG. 7 is an isometric view of a tablet dispenser embodying the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A tablet dispenser embodying the invention is generally indicated by the reference number 10 and is shown in position in the threaded neck of a bottle 11 which is ordinarily closed by a screw-on cap 12.
The dispenser 10 has a slightly tapered, generally cylindrical body 13 defined by an annular skirt 14, a substantially closed top 15 and a rim 16 on the top 15 which extends outwardly beyond the diameter of the skirt 14 to position the dispenser 10 in the neck of the bottle 11. The body 13, and particularly the top 15 and the skirt 14 extend cireumferentially a distance much greater than but less than 360 and the angular distance between the edges 17 of the skirt 14 is such that the chord of that distance is slightly greater than the diameter of a tablet to be dispensed therefrom but less than the diameter of two tablets. The rim 16 extends continuously around the outer side of a passage 18 which extends as a chord and also has a radial width greater than the thickness of one tablet to be dispensed but less than the thickness of two tablets to be dispensed.
The passage 18 is defined by an axially extending wall 19 which terminates in perpendicular edges 20. The edges 20 are extensions of the edges 17 of the skirt 14. The passage 18 thus extends downwardly through the dispenser l0 and into the interior of the bottle 11 and opens upwardly through the top 15.
In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings, a retainer 21 is movable between a passage obstructing position (FIGS. 3 and 6) and a passage open position (FIGS. 4 and 5). In this embodiment the retainer 21 is in the form of a pin which slides horizontally in apassageway 22 formed in the upper portion of the dispenser 10. The retainer 21 is accessible for manual engagement through an opening 23 formed in the top 15 through which the finger of a user can engage the retainer 21 to hold it in passage open position. The retainer 21 is movable by gravityfrom passage open position (FIG. 4) to passage closed position (FIG. 6) when the bottle is inverted. This prevents the inadvertent spillage of tablets from the bottle and also means that unless someone is aware of the necessity for en gaging the retainer 21 to hold it in passage open position (FIG. 5), a person such as a small child, cannot dispense tablets from the bottle.
When an older child or an adult wishes to dispense tablets from the bottle, however, he tilts the bottle into the position illustrated in FIG. 4 and gravity causes the retainer 21 to slide rearwardly out of passage closed position. The user then presses the fore finger into the opening 23 to engage the retainer 21 as indicated by the letter P" in FIGS. 4 and 5 and, upon then tilting the bottle to the position illustrated in FIGS, the tablets may be individually dispensed through the opening 18.
The dispenser embodyingthe invention thus not only functions toprevent the inadvertent spillage of tablets from thebottle and to allow the deliberate dispensing of one tablet at a time, but it also interposes a safety means which makes it significantly difficult for a small child under the age of 'five or six to dispense tablets from the-bottle. This is particularly important in view of the dangerous nature of most tablets or pills which are packaged and sold in screw cap bottles and frequently are available to small children in the household.
What I claim is:
l. A tablet dispenser comprising a container having a neck and a replaceable closure for said neck, said dispenser comprising,
a. a generally cylindrical body having a generally flat top and fitting the interior of said container neck, the circumferential extent of said body and said top being greater than 180 and less than 360 by a number of degrees sufficient so that the segmental opening defined thereby has a chordal extent greater than one and less than two times the diameter of a tablet to be dispensed therethrough,
b. a wall generally parallel to the axis of said body and extending across the chord and defining with the inner surface of said neck an axially extending passage having a radial dimension greater than the thickness of a single tablet and less than the thickness of two tablets,
extending rim on the upper end of said body, said rim having an outside diameter greater than the inside diameter of the neck of the bottle and no greater than the outside diameter of such neck.
3. A dispenser according to claim 1 in which the retainer is a slide mounted in a passageway intersecting the upper end of the axially extending passage defined by the wall of the dispenser and there is an access opening through the top of said body to said passageway for manual engagement of said slide.