Title:
Medication Bottle for Use with Oral Syringe
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An oral syringe of the type having a syringe barrel terminating in a syringe neck with a blunt orificed end is combined with a medication bottle provided with a self resealing elastomeric closure designed for admitting the syringe neck into the bottle while maintaining a sufficient liquid tight seal against the syringe neck to allow a dose of medication to be drawn from the bottle in an inverted condition of the bottle without significant leakage. The elastomeric closure may be initially unbroken and rupturable under urging of the orificed end for passing the syringe neck into the bottle, the closure resealing itself upon withdrawal of the syringe neck.


Inventors:
Levy, Abner (Beverly Hills, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/917476
Publication Date:
05/03/2012
Filing Date:
11/01/2010
Assignee:
LEVY ABNER
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/316, 141/311R
International Classes:
B65B1/04; B65D41/00
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for drawing a dose of liquid oral medication from a bottle into an oral syringe comprising the steps of: providing an oral syringe of the type having a syringe barrel terminating in a syringe neck with an orificed blunt end; providing a medication bottle with a self resealing elastomeric closure normally sealing said bottle and adapted to admit said syringe neck into said bottle while maintaining a substantially liquid tight seal between said closure and said neck; inserting said blunt orificed end of said syringe neck through said elastomeric closure into said bottle; inverting said bottle and said syringe such that said orificed end is immersed in liquid medication contained in said bottle; drawing a dose of said medication into said syringe barrel; and withdrawing said syringe neck to allow self resealing of said elastomeric closure.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said closure is initially unbroken and further comprising the step of urging said orificed end against said closure with sufficient force for breaking said closure and passing said orificed end therethrough and into said bottle.

3. In combination, an oral syringe having a syringe barrel terminating in a syringe neck with a blunt orificed end and a medication bottle having a self resealing elastomeric closure, said closure being sized, dimensioned and configured for admitting said orificed end into said bottle while maintaining a substantially liquid tight seal with said syringe neck.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said closure is initially unbroken and is rupturable under urging of said orificed end thereagainst for breaking said closure and passing said orificed end through said closure and into said bottle.

5. The combination of claim 3 said closure having a septum of elastomeric material, said septum having a generally depressed dished portion including an area of minimum thickness, said dished portion increasing in thickness radially from a minimum thickness to a much thicker elastomeric material encompassing said area of minimum thickness, said depressed portion and said area of minimum thickness being shaped and configured to elastically distend for passing said blunt orificed end of said syringe neck through a tear in said area of minimum thickness, said septum self reclosing by returning opposite edges of said tear to a substantially contiguous closed condition after withdrawal of said syringe neck from said septum.

6. In a plug for installation in the neck of a medication bottle, said plug having a shell adapted to make retentive sealing engagement with said neck and having a central hole through said shell of reduced diameter relative to said bottle neck, the improvement comprising a self resealing elastomeric closure normally sealing said bottle and adapted to rupture to the blunt ended orificed neck of an oral syringe into said bottle while maintaining a substantially liquid tight seal between said closure and said neck, said elastomeric closure being adapted to self reseal to a substantially liquid tight condition following withdrawal of said neck from said closure.

7. The improvement of claim 6 said closure having a septum of elastomeric material, said septum having a generally depressed dished portion including an area of minimum thickness, said dished portion increasing in thickness radially from a minimum thickness to a much thicker elastomeric material encompassing said area of minimum thickness, said depressed portion and said area of minimum thickness being shaped and configured to elastically distend for passing said blunt orificed end of said syringe neck through a tear in said area of minimum thickness, said septum self reclosing by returning opposite edges of said tear to a substantially contiguous closed condition after withdrawal of said syringe neck from said septum.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention generally pertains to methods and devices useful for the administration and delivery of liquid oral medications and more particularly concerns a self resealing closure for medication bottles containing liquid medication drawn and administered by oral syringes.

2. State of the Prior Art

The administration of liquid medications such as cough and cold medicines, whether over the counter or prescription medication, to young children and infants requires careful control over dosage. In the case of adults the dosage of such medications is often measured by tea or table—spoonfuls. The spoons may vary in size to a considerable degree, and they may be filled to different levels, resulting in substantial variations in the administered dose. Adults, because of their larger body mass, are unlikely to suffer adverse effects from such variations. However, small children, having much smaller body mass, have often suffered adverse consequences and in fact result in thousands of children being hospitalized each year. Similar problems occur when unsupervised children gain access to and take such medicines, which are often colored and flavored to appeal to children's tastes, and thus may receive an overdose of the medicine. The aforementioned difficulties are compounded when the liquid medications are concentrated and intended for administration with a dropper. A parent may think little of giving a child an extra drop or two, thinking it is a harmless amount, but in fact this too may have undesirable and harmful outcomes in the case of small children.

More recently this problem has been addressed through the use of oral syringes which more accurately measure and dispense small volumes of liquid medication in a consistent manner. Oral syringes differ from conventional hypodermic type syringes in that the neck extending from the end of the syringe barrel is sized such that standard hypodermic needles cannot be mated to it. Instead, the oral syringe is used to deliver a stream of liquid medication to the oral cavity of young patients, who are often uncooperative.

The liquid medication is drawn by immersing the open end of the neck of the syringe in the contents of the medication bottle and pulling the syringe plunger from the barrel in the conventional manner. The neck of the medication bottle typically does not admit the syringe barrel into the bottle, so that the liquid contents must be brought within reach of the syringe end by tilting the bottle. However, as the contents of the bottle are consumed and depleted, the liquid level drops and it becomes necessary to incline the bottle to an increasing degree so as to bring the liquid within reach of the short neck of the oral syringe. This can be difficult to accomplish without spilling some of the contents. This process has been somewhat facilitated through the use of a plug fitted into the neck of the medication bottle and having a plug opening of reduced diameter relative to the diameter of the bottle neck. The plug opening admits the syringe neck into the bottle neck but also provides an interior rim which helps contain the liquid contents while the dose is drawn into the syringe. Also, the barrel end may be pressed against the plug to further help contain the liquid during this operation.

Nonetheless, the use of oral syringes with liquid medications remains inconvenient and dependent to an undesirable degree upon the manual dexterity of the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, a liquid oral medication bottle is provided with a self resealing elastomeric closure normally sealing the bottle and adapted to admit the syringe neck into the bottle while maintaining a substantially liquid tight seal between the elastomeric closure and the syringe neck. The neck of the oral syringe has an orificed blunt end which is inserted through the elastomeric closure into the bottle. The bottle is tilted or inverted such that the orificed blunt end is immersed in the liquid medication contained in the bottle, and a dose of the medication is drawn into the syringe barrel. The syringe neck is withdrawn from the bottle to allow self resealing of the elastomeric closure.

In one embodiment of the invention the elastomeric closure is initially unbroken and the method further comprises the step of urging the orificed blunt end of the syringe neck against the elastomeric closure with sufficient force for rupturing the closure and passing the neck's orificed end therethrough and into the bottle.

The elastomeric closure preferably has a septum of elastomeric material, the septum having a generally depressed dished portion including an area of minimum thickness. The dished portion increases in thickness radially from the minimum thickness to a much thicker elastomeric material encompassing the area of minimum thickness, the depressed portion and the area of minimum thickness being shaped and configured to elastically distend for passing the blunt orificed end of the syringe neck through a tear in the area of minimum thickness. The septum self recloses by returning opposite edges of the tear to a substantially contiguous closed condition after withdrawal of the syringe neck from the septum.

These and other improvements, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a prior art plug of the type fitted in liquid medication bottles for use in conjunction with an oral syringe;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the plug of FIG. 1 taken along line 2-2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top side perspective view of the improved plug with the self resealing elastomeric closure according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken along line 4-4 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 4a is an enlarged cross section as in FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a top side perspective view of a typical medication bottle fitted with the plug of FIGS. 3 and 4;

FIG. 6 is a cross section taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 illustrates how the neck of the oral syringe is inserted through the elastomeric closure of the inverted medication bottle of FIGS. 5 and 6;

FIG. 8 shows how a dose of liquid medication is drawn into the oral syringe from the inverted medication bottle;

FIG. 9 is a cross section taken along line 9-9 showing the sealing engagement of the elastomeric seal about the exterior surface of the syringe neck;

FIG. 10 is a view taken as in FIG. 9 showing the self resealing of the elastomeric closure to a substantially liquid tight condition upon withdrawal of the oral syringe; and

FIG. 11 illustrates typical delivery of the medication dose by the oral syringe to the oral cavity of a child.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the accompanying drawings in which like numerals reference like elements, FIGS. 1 and 2 show a prior art plug of the type fitted in the neck of liquid oral medication bottles in order to facilitate the drawing of the liquid medication into an oral syringe.

The prior art plug generally indicated by numeral 10 has a plug top 12 in which is defined a circular depression 14 bounded at a lower end by an interior annular flange 16 which encompasses a center hole 18 through the plug top. Plug 10 also has a cylindrical side wall 22 open at a lower end 22a and from which extend four axially spaced radial ribs 24. The center hole 18 provides a reduced aperture when plug 10 is pressed into the neck of a medication bottle and interior flange 16 provides an annular containment dam which helps reduce the likelihood of spillage when the medication bottle is tilted or inverted onto the oral syringe. Nonetheless, substantial dexterity of the user on the part of the user is needed to avoid spillage of the liquid medication.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show an improved plug 30 according to the present invention. In plug 30 a self resealing elastomeric closure 32 closes the center hole 18 of the prior art plug 10. The prior art plug structure (hereafter referred to as shell 10) is used in the plug 30 of this invention as a supporting shell for the self resealing closure 32. The self resealing elastomeric closure 32 includes a one piece closure body 34 supported in an interference fit above and below the inner flange 16 of shell 10, such that the closure body 34 is permanently locked to the shell 10.

In a presently preferred method of manufacture plug 30 is manufactured in a two step process, in which the shell 10 is molded first and closure 32 is then molded onto the shell 10. This two step process permits different materials to be used for the two components, each suited to its function. The closure body is preferably molded of a relatively soft thermoplastic elastomeric material, for example, GLS2711 sold by GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers based in McHenry, Ill., a business unit of PolyOne Corporation of Avon Lake, Ohio. The plug shell 10 is preferably made of a harder, stiffer thermoplastic material such as polypropylene, a presently preferred material being a 50-50% blend of polypropylene and Synprene thermoplastic elastomer available from PolyOne Corporation.

The closure body 34 is generally disk shaped with a central depression 36 including a dished septum 40 in the top surface 38 of the closure body 34. As best seen in FIG. 4a, the septum 40 has a generally depressed dished portion 42 including an area of minimum thickness 44 as measured between the septum bottom and the underside or interior surface 46 of the closure body 34. The dished portion 42 of septum 40 increases in thickness radially from the minimum thickness 44 to a much thicker elastomeric material 48 encompassing the area of minimum thickness.

It has been found advantageous to provide a greater minimum thickness of elastomer in the self resealing closure 32 intended for perforation by the neck of an oral syringe than the smaller minimum thickness preferred in previous filings and earlier disclosed embodiments of the perforable self-resealing elastomeric closure of this invention. For example, in a plug 30 of nominal 20 mm diameter the overall thickness of closure body 34 may be approximately 3 mm, the diameter of central depression 36 at the top surface 38 may be 4.80 mm, the depth of the central depression 36 may be 1.5 mm deep and the minimum thickness at the center of the closure body 34 may be 1.6 mm thick. For a 24 mm diameter plug 30 the thickness of closure body 34 may be approximately 4.25 mm, the diameter of central depression 36 at the top surface 38 may be 5.5 mm, the depth of the central depression 36 may be 2.00 mm deep and the minimum thickness at the center of the closure body 34 may be 2.25 mm thick. In general, the minimum thickness 44 at the bottom of the dished portion 42 in plug 30 may be approximately equal to the depth of the central depression 36.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a typical medication bottle B fitted with the self resealing elastomeric plug 30 of FIGS. 3 and 4. As shown in FIG. 6, when the plug 30 is press-fitted into the bottle neck N, the radial ribs 18 are flexed upwardly from their normal radial condition and the inherent resilience of the elastomeric rib material presses the ribs 18 against interior of the cylindrical bottle neck in a friction fit which both retains the plug 30 in the bottle neck N and also provides a liquid tight seal for containing the liquid contents L from leaking between the plug and the bottle neck. The bottle neck N also has an exterior thread T onto which is screwed a removable twist-on bottle cap C. In an initial condition of elastomeric closure 32 the septum 40 is unbroken, i.e., forms a continuous closed partition across the bottle neck N, as seen in the cross section of FIG. 6.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate how a dose of liquid medication is drawn with a typical oral syringe S from medication bottle B provided with the plug 30 of this invention. Oral syringe S may be a commercially available syringe having a syringe barrel 100 with a syringe neck 102 at a proximal end of the barrel 100 and a syringe plunger 106 slidable within barrel 100. Syringe neck 102 extends from an end wall 104 of the syringe barrel. The syringe neck 102 is a cylindrical or tapering stub terminating in a generally blunt end 108. A bore 110 through syringe neck 102 opens in an orifice 112 in the blunt end 108 and communicates with the interior of the syringe barrel 100, as best seen in FIGS. 9 and 10.

The depressed dished portion 42 and the area of minimum thickness 44 are shaped and configured to rupture and elastically distend for under the urging of the blunt orificed end 108 of the syringe neck 102 and passing the orificed end 108 and a portion of neck 102 through a tear 120 created in the area of minimum thickness 44 of the septum 40, a condition depicted in FIG. 9. The dished portion 42 and the area of minimum thickness 44 are self reclosing by returning opposite edges 120′ of the tear to a substantially contiguous closed condition after withdrawal of the syringe neck 102 from the torn septum, as shown in FIG. 10.

Preferably, the shape and diameter of the upper portion 50 of the central depression 36 is sized to closely receive the syringe neck 102, The upper portion 50 helps guide the neck of the syringe and to hold it in general alignment with the center of the area of minimum thickness 44 of dished septum 40 as the syringe neck 102 is advanced into the depression 36 and urged against the depressed portion 42 to rupture or tear the area of minimum thickness and through septum 40, thereby to place the orifice 112 on the blunt end 108 at the end of the syringe neck into fluidic communication with the interior of the medicine bottle N, a condition seen in FIGS. 8 and 9.

As shown in FIG. 8, the medication bottle with the fluidically coupled oral syringe may be held inverted or upside down so that the liquid contents L in the bottle N overlie the orifice 112 of the syringe neck. In this position, the plunger 106 of the oral syringe S may be pulled from the syringe barrel 100, thereby to draw a dose D of liquid medication L into the syringe barrel. The prescribed dosage is measured by aligning the plunger bottom with a corresponding marker 114 on the syringe barrel.

In the fluidically coupled condition of FIG. 8, the perforated elastomeric closure 32 is distended to admit passage of the syringe neck 102 and because of its inherent elasticity forms a tight seal about the exterior surface of the syringe neck, as in FIG. 9. A close fit between syringe neck 102 and upper portion 50 of depression 36 further assists in preventing leakage. Consequently, the liquid L is contained in the bottle B and does not leak onto the underlying syringe S.

Once the desired dosage D has been drawn, the oral syringe S is withdrawn from the bottle B, whereupon the elastomeric closure 32 is free to self reseal to a substantially liquid tight condition, as indicated in FIG. 10.

The improved plug 30 with the self resealing closure 32 of this invention provides a number of advantages over the prior art plug of FIGS. 1 and 2.

Firstly, the normally closed condition of the elastomeric septum, both before and after perforation with a syringe S, prevents contamination of the contents L with dust or any pollutants present in the immediate environment even while the bottle cap C is removed.

Secondly, the normally closed condition of the elastomeric closure makes the medication bottle doubly childproof, i.e., even if the twist-on cap C is forgotten, or even if it is removed by the child, the child is unable to drink from the bottle contents, which remain secure even if the bottle is turned upside down or tilted into the child's mouth.

Thirdly, the bottle is leak proof with or without the twist-on cap C as a result of the normally closed, substantially liquid tight elastomeric closure 32.

Fourth, the bottle can be upended onto the oral syringe S with little risk of leakage or spillage of the liquid medication L. This is an improvement over the prior art where continuous care had to be observed while drawing the liquid medication into the oral syringe to prevent spillage through the open hole of the prior art plug.

The plug 30 can be made in various diameters and dimensions to fit medication bottles or other containers having container or bottle necks N of different dimensions. The upper diameter of the central cavity 36 in each case is guided by the neck diameter of the oral syringe S to be used with that combination of plug 30 and container B. For example, oral syringes in 5 ml, 10 ml and 20 ml capacities are in general use and have syringe necks 102 of varying sizes, typically 3 to 4 mm in diameter. In each case, the diameter of upper portion 50 of the center cavity of the plug is sized accordingly to closely receive the diameter of the syringe neck.

It should be understood that in alternate embodiments of the invention the central cavity 36 may be inverted on the closure body 34 so that the cavity opens into the interior of the medicine bottle B and the dished septum faces the bottle interior.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated for purposes of clarity and explanation it should be understood that still other changes, modifications and substitutions will be apparent to those having only ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined in the following claims.