Title:
Dual compartment medicine container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dual compartment prescription pill container is provided. A first compartment that can function as a traditional prescription pill bottle has a closure that is engaged by a second, smaller compartment of a second container. The interior volume of each container can be accessed independently. The second container provides a receptacle in which a daily or weekly dosage of medicine may be housed to make it easier for a patient to determine if the day's dose was taken. Optionally, the second compartment can be removed to make it easier for a smaller quantity of medicine to be carried by a patient.



Inventors:
Devaux-day, Paula (Mauldin, SC, US)
Application Number:
11/894090
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/20/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/23.6, 215/6
International Classes:
B65D83/04; B65D51/28
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PICKETT, JOHN G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
J. BENNETT MULLINAX, LLC (P. O. BOX 26029, GREENVILLE, SC, 29616-1029, US)
Claims:
That which is claimed:

1. A container for medicine in the form of pills, tablets, and capsules comprising: a first container having a receptacle and a closure, said closure engaging said receptacle in a reversible fashion; and, a second container having a receptacle and a closure, said receptacle further defining a base, said base adapted for reversibly engaging an exterior of said closure of said first container.

2. A prescription pill bottle comprising: a first container defining an interior volume; a closure adapted for securing to said first container, said closure further defining an upper surface defining a circumferential rim; and, a second container defining an interior volume, said second container having a base adapted for engaging said circular rim of said closure of said first container, said second container having a closure.

3. The prescription pill bottle according to claim 2 wherein said circumferential rim is threaded and is adapted for engaging a mated threaded portion defined by said base of said second container.

4. The prescription pill bottle according to claim 2 wherein said closure of said first container and said closure of said second container are child-resistant closures.

5. A prescription pill bottle comprising: a first receptacle having a floor, a cylindrical body wall, and an opening; a closure for engaging said opening of said first receptacle, said closure defining at least one circumferential exterior rim when said closure is operatively engaged to said first receptacle; a second receptacle having a floor, a cylindrical body wall, and an opening, said opening adapted for receiving a closure and said floor being positioned within an interior of said receptacle so as to define an enclosure between said floor and said opening, said floor further defining a cavity between said floor and a portion of said cylindrical body wall and opposing said enclosure, said interior wall of said cavity adapted for reversibly engaging said at least one circumferential exterior rim of said closure of said first receptacle.

6. A prescription pill bottle according to claim 5 wherein said closure of said first receptacle and said closure of said second receptacle are substantially identical.

7. The pill bottle receptacle according to claim 5 wherein said floor is positioned along an approximate mid-point of said body wall of said second receptacle.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is directed to a dual compartment container which may be used as a prescription bottle as typically dispensed from a pharmacy. The dual compartment bottle defines a second compartment that engages the safety lid of a conventional prescription bottle providing an accessory compartment that may be used to hold a smaller amount of pills or capsules. In this manner, the accessory compartment may be used to hold a smaller amount of pills or capsules to make it easier for the user to determine whether a recent dosage of medicine has been taken or not.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known in the art to provide containers having multiple compartments and storage recesses. For instance, various dual compartment storage containers can be seen in reference to U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,475,654; 4,634,011; 5,850,919; 6,478,155; 7,055,709; and published application US 2003/0111467, the specifications of which are incorporated herein by reference.

While a variety of dual compartment containers are known in the art, such containers have not achieved acceptance in the marketplace. It is believed that there remains a need for a low-cost and easy to manufacture multiple compartment container and which can be adapted for use with conventional commercially used prescription pill bottles. Accordingly, there remains room for improvement and variation within the art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is one aspect of at least one embodiment of the present invention to provide a prescription pill container having dual compartments in which an upper compartment is designed to engage with a closure portion of a lower compartment.

It is yet another aspect of at least one embodiment of the present invention to provide for a pill storage container having a child-proof closure and a floor in which the floor is designed to interengage with a closure of a first pill storage bottle.

It is yet a further and more particular object of at least one aspect of the present invention to provide for a dual compartment pill storage container in which the first container houses an initial dispensed supply of medicine while a second compartment is positioned on and supported by a closure of the first compartment, the second compartment having a smaller volume which may be used to hold a single day's supply of medicine and having a closure similar to the closure of the first compartment.

It is yet a further and more particular aspect of at least one embodiment of the present invention to provide for a dual compartment storage container in which the first storage compartment and the second storage compartment may be accessed independently of the other.

It is yet a further and more particular aspect of at least one embodiment of the present invention to provide for a medicinal pill storage compartment having a child proof closure, a storage area adapted to be reversibly secured by the child proof closure and a circumferential rim extending beyond the floor of the storage compartment, the circumferential rim adapted for engagement with a closure portion of a prescription pill bottle which when so engaged provides for a container having dual storage compartments.

It is a further more particular aspect of at least one embodiment of the present invention to provide for a dual compartment storage container in which a first compartment comprises a cylindrical container having a first child proof closure and a second container having a child proof closure, wherein a bottom portion of the second container is adapted for reversible engagement with the first closure.

It is yet a further and more particular aspect of at least one embodiment of the present invention to provide for a child resistant pill bottle having a first storage unit and a second storage unit the first and the second storage units each being adapted for receiving identical caps for securing pills within said respective compartments.

It is yet a further and more particular object of at least one embodiment of the invention to provide for a container for medicine in the form of pills, tablets, and capsules comprising: a first container having a receptacle and a closure, the closure engaging said receptacle in a reversible fashion; and, a second container having a receptacle and a closure, the receptacle further defining a base, the base adapted for reversibly engaging an exterior of the closure of the first container.

It is yet a further and more particular object of at least one embodiment of the invention to provide a prescription pill bottle comprising: a first container defining an interior volume; a closure adapted for securing to the first container, the closure further defining an upper surface defining a circumferential rim; and, a second container defining an interior volume, the second container having a base adapted for engaging the circular rim of the closure of the first container, the second container having a closure.

It is yet a further and more particular object of at least one embodiment of the invention to provide a prescription pill bottle comprising: a first receptacle having a floor, a cylindrical body wall, and an opening; a closure for engaging the opening of the first receptacle, the closure defining at least one circumferential exterior rim when the closure is operatively engaged to the first receptacle; a second receptacle having a floor, a cylindrical body wall, and an opening, the opening adapted for receiving a closure and the floor being positioned within an interior of the receptacle so as to define an enclosure between the floor and the opening, the floor further defining a cavity between the floor and a portion of the cylindrical body wall and opposing the enclosure, the interior wall of the cavity adapted for reversibly engaging the at least one circumferential exterior rim of the closure of the first receptacle.

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A fully enabling disclosure of the present invention, including the best mode thereof to one of ordinary skill in the art, is set forth more particularly in the remainder of the specification, including reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2A is an exploded view showing the separate compartments of the dual compartment container.

FIG. 2B is a perspective view showing the two compartments positioned in a tandem arrangement.

FIG. 3A is an exploded sectional view showing the component parts of the dual compartment container.

FIG. 3B is a sectional view taken along line 3B-3B of FIG. 1 illustrating the joined components of the dual compartment container.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Reference will now be made in detail to the embodiments of the invention, one or more examples of which are set forth below. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the invention, not limitation of the invention. In fact, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. For instance, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used on another embodiment to yield a still further embodiment. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover such modifications and variations as come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents. Other objects, features, and aspects of the present invention are disclosed in the following detailed description. It is to be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that the present discussion is a description of exemplary embodiments only and is not intended as limiting the broader aspects of the present invention, which broader aspects are embodied in the exemplary constructions.

In describing the various figures herein, the same reference numbers are used throughout to describe the same material, apparatus, or process pathway. To avoid redundancy, detailed descriptions of much of the apparatus once described in relation to a figure is not repeated in the descriptions of subsequent figures, although such apparatus or process is labeled with the same reference numbers.

As seen in reference to FIG. 1, a dual compartment pill storage container is set forth in which there is a first container 20 seen here in the form of a cylindrical container having a closure 30 seen in the form of a child resistant cap. Container 20 and closure 30 may be of conventional design such as the container seen in reference to U.S. Pat. No. 5,711,442, which is incorporated herein by reference. As is well known in the art, the conventional container as seen by container 20 and closure 30 has a child proof closure system which, when closure 30 is reversed is adapted for threading into the interior of container 20 in a conventional, non child proof feature.

For the purposes of illustration, closure 30 is depicted as being engaged with compartment 20 in the protective child proof orientation. A second smaller container comprising the compartment 40 and a closure 50 is designed to interengage with the top of closure 30. Ideally, closure 30 and closure 50 may be of identical construction. Likewise, the engagement threads between closure 50 and compartment 40 may be identical to the closure engagement means between closure 30 and compartment 20.

As best seen in reference to FIGS. 2A and 2B, the relationship and orientation between the first lower container comprising closure 30 and the compartment 20 is designed to interengage in an axial fashion with an upper compartment comprising compartment 40 and closure 50. As seen in reference to FIG. 2B, a recessed floor 46 within the compartment 40 allows an outer rim 48 to define a cavity 44 positioned within rim 48 and opposite floor 46. The cavity 44 is designed to engage with an upper portion 32 of closure 30.

As best seen in references to FIGS. 3A and 3B, the interengagement between the first container comprising the compartment 20 and closure 30 can be seen with respect to the interengagement of the second compartment 40 having closure 50. As best seen in reference to FIG. 3B, the resulting dual compartment container allows for medicines such as pill ā€œPā€ to be removed from compartment 20 such that a smaller quantity, such as a single day's or week's dosage, may be placed within the interior housing 42 of the compartment 40. As seen, both the upper compartment and the lower compartment have respective lids to keep the contents safe. Either compartment can be accessed independently of the other.

One advantage of the dual compartment container described herein is that by placement of a single day's dosage of medicine within compartment 42, an individual may quickly ascertain if a required dosage has been taken or not. Frequently, it is difficult to remember if a pill was taken at a scheduled interval or not. Having a smaller quantity such as a single day's dosage placed in compartment 42, the user may readily ascertain if the medicine was taken at a required interval or not. For instance, if a pill is to be taken three times a day at meals, if, following lunch, a patient is unable to recall if the medicine was taken with his meal, a visual determination of the number of pills remaining in the compartment 42 will indicate if a dosage was skipped or not. Absent the easier to track system provided by the dual compartments, a person would have to count all the remaining pills in a typical container and calculate from the initial quantity and the remaining days if a dosage had been skipped. Such calculations are tedious, prone to error, and may be beyond the skill of some patients may lack the alertness to carry out such a calculation.

As seen in reference to FIG. 3A, in its simplest design, compartment 40 can be adapted to friction fit the upper portion 32 of closure 30. As seen in reference to FIG. 3A, multiple portions of the exterior surface of closure 30, as seen in reference to 34A and 34D may define circumferential rims that may be used as a basis for interengagement with an appropriately sized rim portion 48 upper compartment. As illustrated, rim portion 48 is designed to interengage with the exterior rim 34B of closure 30 such that both the lower container 20 and the upper container 40 have circular edge walls of substantially identical diameter.

While the illustrated embodiment sets forth a friction fit connection, the interior portion of rim 48 could be threaded to interengage with a corresponding mated threaded portion defined by an exterior of closure 30. The friction fit can be of sufficient tolerance that the respective compartments will not casually disengage.

One feature of the present embodiment seen in FIG. 3A is that the closure 50 and compartment 40 may be removed from the lower compartment comprising closure 30 and compartment 20. In this way, the smaller compartment having a limited supply of pills may be more easily carried in a person's pocket, handbag, etc. In this way, the user does not have to carry around a larger container but can carry only a day's worth of medicine as he or she goes about their day's activities. The limited number of pills present within the housing 42 allows the user to monitor whether the proper dose has been taken and avoids having to carry a larger supply of pills than needed.

While not illustrated, it is well within one of ordinary skill in the art to allow for the rim portion 48 and cavity 44 to define threads or other securement structures such that the upper and lower compartments can be matedly joined for a more secure connection. Such an arrangement still allows for the respective compartments to be separated without compromising the integrity of the respective upper and lower compartments each having their own closure. Alternatively, the rim portion 48 and cavity 44 could be permanently affixed to the closure of a lower compartment by use of an adhesive or sonic welding.

While not required, it is believed desirable that the material used to construct the upper compartment 40 may be identical to the materials used to construct compartment 20. Such materials are typically a plastic or polycarbonate which is tinted to reduce the amount of potentially damaging light that may adversely affect the contents of the enclosures.

While the illustrated embodiment is directed to one possible construction using a prescription pill body of a conventional design, the concept may be easily adapted for other types of prescription pill bottles. For instance, rim 48 and cavity 44 could be adapted for securing to any conventional closure by having a shape and dimensions sufficient to interengage with the closure mechanism. For instance, rim 48 and cavity 44 could be of any size and shape so as to interengage an exterior of any shaped conventional prescription bottle closure or lid. By so doing, the resulting second compartment when placed in operative engagement with the conventional prescription pill bottle, now provides for a dual compartment pill bottle. While not required, it is believed beneficial if the closure 50 of the small upper compartment is identical to the closure 30 of the conventional prescription pill bottle. While not believed as advantageous, it is also possible to have the compartment 40 adapted for engaging a bottom portion of container 20. In addition, it is also possible to have the upper compartment define a substantially flush bottom in which an adhesive tab is used to secure to the cap of a conventional pill container. Alternatively, an adhesive tab can be used on the upper surface of closure 50 which could then be positioned to a bottom portion of container 20.

Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been described using specific terms, devices, and methods, such description is for illustrative purposes only. The words used are words of description rather than of limitation. It is to be understood that changes and variations may be made by those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit or the scope of the present invention which is set forth in the following claims. In addition, it should be understood that aspects of the various embodiments may be interchanged, both in whole, or in part. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained therein.