US 3917120 A
A single member container for dispensing measured dosages of liquid pharmaceutical compositions therefrom, formed of an elastic synthetic resin material and having a lower main chamber and an upper measuring chamber connected thereto by a restricted neck area through which the liquid is to be shaken from the main chamber into the measuring chamber, and with means provided for forming a small aperture in the free end of the measuring chamber to permit dispensing the liquid therefrom as a measured dosage when the main chamber is squeezed.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Larenz et al.
[ Nov. 4, 1975 SINGLE USE CONTAINER FOR LIQUID PHARMACEUTICAL COMPOSITIONS  Inventors: Joachim Larenz; Theodor Schwarz;
Erich Kiibel, all of Darmstadt, Germany  Assignee: Merck Patent Gesellschaft mit Beschraenkter Haftung, Darmstadt, Germany  Filed: June 6, 1974  Appl. No.: 476,782
Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 304,667, Nov. 8, 1972,
 Foreign Application Priority Data Nov. 11, 1971 Germany 2155.993
 US. Cl. 222/129; 222/207; 222/456; 222/541  Int. C1. B67D 5/56  field of Search 222/92, 94, 107, 207, 213, 222/215, 454, 456, 445, 424.4, 211, 575,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 587,597 8/1897 Nourse ZZZ/424.5
2,103,111 12/1937 Ekdahl 222/575 2,134,489 lO/1938 Scherer 222/107 2,207,834 7/1940 Stern 222/215 2,663,461 12/1953 Brown 222/94 2,705,579 4/1955 Mason 222/107 3,033,420 5/1962 Thomas et al. 222/456 3,241,726 3/1966 222/211 Chester Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examinerl-I. Grant Skaggs, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmMillen, Raptes & White  ABSTRACT A single member container for dispensing measured dosages of liquid pharmaceutical compositions therefrom, formed of an elastic synthetic resin material and having a lower main chamber and an upper measuring chamber connected thereto by a restricted neck area through which the liquid is to be shaken from the main chamber into the measuring chamber, and with means provided for forming a small aperture in the free end of the measuring chamber to permit dispensing the liquid therefrom as a measured dosage when the main chamber is squeezed.
1 Claim, 5 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 1 of2 3,917,120
US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet2 of2 3,917,120
CIIIIIIII SINGLE USE CONTAINER FOR LIQUID PHARMACEUTICAL COMPOSITIONS This is a continuation, of application Ser. No. 304,667, filed Nov. 8, 1972 and now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to single use containers formed of elastic synthetic resin material for dispensing measured doses of a liquid, such as a pharmaceutical composition.
Liquid pharmaceutical compositions for the treatment of the eyes, ears or nose are usually supplied commercially in multi-dose glass or plastic bottles with a screw-on dispensing pipette or dropper, the contents of which, as a result of the usual repeated removal of the contents therefrom, can very easily become contaminated by microorganisms or by body secretions, e.g., in the case of compositions intended for the treatment of colds. This results in the formation of unhygienic, flocculant particles in the liquid and, in the case of bacterial contamination, reinfection of the patient is possible.
These dangers can be overcome by the use of containers for single use filled with liquid pharmaceutical compositions.
Single-use containers of this type are already known but they suffer from several disadvantages.
Thus, in Belgian Patent Specification No. 738,039, there is described a single-use container which is opened by the removal of a cap. In British Patent Specification No. 832,056, there is described a single-use container which is opened by removal of an upper, narrowed part of the container.
For the application of drops into the inner nasal cavity, the head of the patient must also be tilted backwards in an uncomfortable position. An equal division of the contents of a container into both nostrils, which is desirable for reasons of cost, is not possible without difficult visual control, for example, by the use of a mirror. Furthermore, ejection of the liquid contents of a container in a thin, finely-divided stream, which is desirable for a more rapid and more dependable action of the pharmaceutical composition being dispensed, cannot be achieved with known containers intended for administration of a liquid pharmaceutical composition in the form of drops.
It has now been found that these disadvantages of the known containers can be avoided by the use of the dispensing containers of this invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The dispensing containers of this invention are single member containers for liquids adapted for dispensing liquid contained therein, formed of an elastic polymer, having a larger lower end providing a main chamber, and an elongate, smaller upper end providing a separate measuring chamber having a sealed upper end and a lower end joined to the upper end of the main chamaber and communicating therewith by a constricted orifice adapted to permit the flow of liquid from the main chamber into the measuring chamber when the container is shaken in an inverted position and to resist the flow of liquid from the measuring chamber to the main chamber when the container is in an upright position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a better understanding of this invention, several embodiments thereof will now be described in more detail, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic side view ofa container according to this invention and a fragmented like view of another container attached thereto along one side;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of an opening cap adapted for mounting on the top of the measuring chamber of the container of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view of a plurality of another embodiment of the containers of this invention with integrated opening means;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a single, opened container of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a top cross-sectional view through the narrow neck connecting the measuring chamber with the main chamber along plane VV of FIG. 4.
DETAILED DISCUSSION With reference to FIG. 1 of the drawing, there is shown a container 20 of this invention having a larger lower end 21, providing a flattened or lenticularly shaped larger main chamber 1, and a smaller elongate, cannular shaped upper end 22, providing a separate cylindrical measuring chamber 2 having a sealed upper end 22a and a lower end 22b joined to the upper end 21a of the main chamber 1 and communicating therewith by a narrow neck 3 providing a restricted orifice 23 to permit the transfer of liquid 25 from the main chamber 1 to the measuring chamber 2. Extending below the bottom end 21b of main chamber 1 and communicating therewith is a cylindrical or bubble-like rounded cavity or lower chamber 4. A web 7 on the sides of the lower end 21 of the container provides a bridging member joining the individual containers into a connected chain of a plurality of containers. The bridging members 7 have a longitudinal weakened tear area 8 provided by a thinner or grooved wall area to permit individual containers to be easily torn off from the strip of containers.
At the juncture of the lower end 22b of the upper end 22 of the container with the upper end 21a of the lower end 21 of the container is a narrow necked portion 23 providing a constricted orifice providing restricted fluid communication between the main chamber 1 and the measuring chamber 2. The embodiment shown in FIG. 1 can be opened for use by a puncturing cap 6 fitted with a needle 5 axially mounted in the closed end 6a of the cap. The cap is cylindrical in shape of dimensions adapted to be slidably mounted onto the cannular-shaped upper end 22 of the container.
With reference to FIGS. 3-5, an embodiment is shown in which the constricted area between the main and measuring chambers in the neck portion of the container is provided by a toothed wheel-like or stellate lamella arrangement 12, whose spokes 12a are bonded to the inner wall of the neck portion 3 of the container, which reduces the internal volume of the neck area, thereby restricting the flow of liquid between the main and measuring chambers. The bottom of the container has a flattened seal area 9 formed when the filled container is sealed during manufacture. A dispensing orifice 11 is provided by tearing off the flattened tonguelike severable extension 10 of the sealed end of the upper cannular shaped portion of the container. A single container can be separated from a strip of containers by tearing or snapping the pair of severable extensions 7a having perforations 8a therein providing weakened areas for the bridging members or webs 7 joining the sides of the containers to form a strip of containers.
Although the main chamber 1 is preferably lenticularly flattened, it can be of any desired shape, for example, it can be rectangular, triangular, pear-shaped or round. It can be made flat when the containers have been closed, for example, by welding or heat sealing.
The measuring chamber 2 is preferably cannular shaped with respect to the main chamber 1. Thus, the measuring chamber 2 is preferably cylindrical. It can, however, have a different shape, for example, spheroidal or ovoid. The size, length and wall thickness of the measuring chamber are determined by the amount of liquid pharmaceutical composition to be dispensed in each dose. Preferably, the containers are of a size intended to contain two doses of a liquid pharmaceutical composition.
When the containers are intended to contain 0.1 1 ml. ofliquid pharmaceutical composition, they preferably have an over-all length of from 40 to 50 mm.; the upper cannular shaped upper end forming the measuring chamber has an external diameter of about 46 mm. and a length of about 10-20 mm.; and the lower end forming the main chamber is about 14-16 mm. wide and about 5-10 mm. thick. Consequently, the total volume of the container is about 0.2 2 ml.
To use, the filled container is opened at the tip of the measuring chamber 2. The tip of the measuring chamber can be opened, for example, by tearing off a tongue-like closure 10, a previously made opening 11 of predetermined diameter thereby being exposed. It is, however, also possible to open the tip of the measuring chamber with the use of a penetration needle. For this purpose, there is preferably provided a cap 6 equipped with a needle 5, the dimensions of the cap 6 being adapted to the dimensions of the measuring chamber 2 and the needle 5 being centrally positioned in the inside of the cap 6. Thethickness of the needle 5 depends upon the desired diameter of the opening 11.
It is preferable to supply the novel containers in the form of a plurality of units corresponding to the prescribed dosage regime, e.g., three, five or 10 contain-' ers. Therefore, as a rule, a plurality of containers are usually joined together by easily tearable bridge members in the form of a strip, i.e., lying next to one another, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. The thin places or perforations therein which are preferably provided, facilitate tearing off individual containers from the strip.
When the novel containers are closed by a tonguelike closure as shown in FIG. 10, the latter is preferably flat, especially when the container is formed from a thermoplastic synthetic resin. The gripping surfaces of the tongue-like closure 10 can, if desired, be printed or embossed with the name of the manufacturer and/or the identity of the pharmaceutical composition therein so that the contents of an individual container can always be ascertained before opening the container. This information can also be placed on the flatten face of the lower end of the container forming the main chamber or on the flat sealed bottom thereof shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.
The novel containers according to the present invention are preferably made of a synthetic resin. The synthetic resin materials employed should be elastic, and satisfactory from a physiologicalpoint of view and are preferably transparent and heat scalable. Preferred synthetic resins include high pressure polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride.
The containers can be produced by injection or blow molding. They are preferably made in multiples, molded, filled, and closed in oneworking step. Natu-. rally, a discontinuous production of the filled containers is also possible.
The strips of empty containers are usually bottom filled with the selected amount of liquid pharmaceutical composition or other liquid and the bottom then heat-sealed forming, in the case of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a flattened bottom strip 9 for the container. The containers are preferably filled about half full with liquid, with the remaining space being occupied by air or inert gas. I
To administer a measured dose of the liquid pharmaceutical composition in the container, the container, is inverted and the resistance of the narrow neck 3 to liquid flow is overcome by a shaking or snapping motion until the measuring chamber 2 is filled with liquid from the main chamber. To ensure that the measuring chamber 2 is filled accurately, it is advantageous that the.
container, and especially the upper end forming the measuring chamber 2 be formed of a transparent plastic.
The container with measuring chamber filled with liquid is then turned in an upright position and an aperture formed in the sealed end of the cannular shaped upper portion, either by removing the severable tongue-like extension 10 to the sealed end of the embodiment shown in FIG. 3 or by piercing the sealed end with the needle 5 in the cap 6 of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 and then removing the cap.
After forming the aperture in the top of the container, the liquid is dispensed from the container preferably in an upright position by pressing or squeezing the main chamber, for example, between thumb and forefinger, thus compressing the air trapped in the main chamber of the container and causing the liquid in the The novel container of this invention permits, after opening the end of the measuring chamber, the administration of a precisely measured volume of liquid in the container by dispensing only the liquid contained in the measuring chamber. The measuringchamber can be opened, for example, by providing a tear-off tonguelike closure. An opening is thus provided through which can be administered precisely measured successive amounts of liquid in a thin, finely divided stream, with the container and the head of the patient both in a normal upright position. Another advantage is that, in the case of simultaneous treatment of the nose and eyes, a sterile solution can always be used for the eyes by opening a new container each time. This is not possible with conventional pipette bottles presently in use since they are not adapted for single use. For application to the eyes, ears and other parts of the body, it is also possible to administer the liquid contents of the chamber in the form of drops instead of measured dosages by pointing the measuring chamber downwardly instead of upwardly when administering the contents. Besides the advantage of greater hygiene, in the case of the treatment of a cold, the container according to the present invention is also more pleasant to use than the manipulation with the known containers or dropping pipettes.
It can thus be seen that while the containers of this invention are single-use type containers, they have the advantage of being able to dispense successive measured dosages of liquid contained therein while in an upright position as well as dispensing liquid dropwise in a conventional manner in an inverted position.
From the foregoing description, one skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of this invention, and without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, can make various changes and modifications of the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions.
What is claimed is:
1. An assembly of a plurality of single-use, multiple dose unitary containers for liquids, adapted for dispensing measured doses of liquid therefrom, formed in'one unitary piece from an elastic polymer, each container having a larger lenticularly flattened compressible lower end providing a main chamber and an elongate cannular shaped upper end providing a separate measuring chamber of smaller volume than the main chamber for containing only a single dose of specific volume, each said container having a sealed upper end, with a severable member forming a part of and extending from the sealed upper end and adapted to form a liquid dispensing aperture in the sealed upper end when the severable member is severed therefrom, and having the lower end joined to the upper end of the main chamber and communicating therewith by a constricted orifice defined by a toothed, wheel-like configuration for permitting the flow of liquid from the main chamber into the measuring chamber when the container is shaken in an inverted position and to resist the flow of liquid from the measuring chamber to the main chamber when the container is in an upright position and to dispense a measured dose of liquid from the measuring chamber when the severable member is severed and the walls of the main chamber are squeezed while the container is in an upright position, said plurality of containers being severably joined in a single plane along the sides of the lower larger end of the containers and forming a predetermined number of doses of said fluid and said severable member of each container being formed as flattened, tongue-like integral portions adapted to be broken from the sealed end at a weakened portion of the severable member at a point forming, prior to severance, the seal for said aperture.