Aspin™ Dispensing Bottle Cap - U.S. Patent #7614496
A bottle cap is adapted to retain a quantity of an additive, such as for example aspirin or the like. The additive is retained in an isolated condition within a sealed chamber or within a bladder inside the bottle cap but in fluid communication with the liquid within the bottle, such as water. A cap with at least one downward extending protrusion is provided to breech the seal of the chamber or the bladder, thereby releasing some or all of the additive retained within the bottle cap.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to the field of analgesic solutions and, more particularly, to an aqueous solution of an analgesic which is developed within a bottle prior to ingestion and to a dispenser for such an analgesic solution.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Aspirin is the most widely used analgesic preparation in the world. It is available without prescription and is marketed under a host of trade names. It has also recently been found to have many other benefits to human health beyond its pain-relieving properties. For example, it is an anti-inflammatory agent, an anti-clotting agent for the bloodstream, a heart-health enhancer, a colon-cancer deterrent, an it may have other positive effects on the human body, which effects are currently under scientific study.
One drawback in the use of aspirin is its harsh effect on the stomach lining. Aspirin is the common name of salicylic acid, C.sub.9H.sub.8O.sub.4. In tablet form, it poses a concentrated assault upon the stomach when swallowed. Antacid buffering agents are often incorporated in the tablets to lessen the damaging effect.
Unfortunately, the most commonly used forms of aspirin rapidly degrade in aqueous solution. Thus, if one is to gain the maximum benefit of aspirin, it must remain in a dry form immediately prior to ingestion. In response, some manufacturers provide analgesics in a power form packaged in a tear-open packet. This packet is then poured into a glass of water so that it may be dissolved and then drunk. For many active people, this is inconvenient.
A similar kind of answer to this problem was suggested by Sorenson et al. in their U.S. Pat. No. 6,681,958. That patent taught an apparatus and a method for associating a supplement compartment with a liquid container. The supplement may be a vitamin, mineral, analgesic, antibiotic or other medicine, flavor or color additive or nutritional in nature, and may be readily accessible and retrievable for use with the liquid such as water or other beverage. The compartment may be nested atop a cap that covers the dispenser of the container or may be otherwise associated with the container in a secure but temporary and accessible manner. Unfortunately, the same kind of difficulty is encountered in using this compartment, in that the user accesses the contents of the compartment, and then if it is to be dissolved in water in the dispenser, then it must be poured into the dispenser much as the packet of power is poured in.
Thus, there remains a need for a means of maintaining the efficacy of an analgesic, yet have the analgesic readily available for ingestion by the user. Such a means should minimize or at least reduce the harmful effects of the concentrated analgesic on the lining of the stomach, yet provide the helpful effects of the medical ingredients. The present invention is directed to filling this need in the art.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention addresses these and other needs in the art by providing a bottle cap adapted to retain a quantity of an additive, such as for example aspirin or the like. The additive is retained in an isolated condition within a sealed chamber or within a bladder inside the bottle cap. The isolated condition of the additive is maintained by a membrane or a bladder which is fluid communication with the liquid retained within the bottle. Means are provided to breech the seal of the chamber or the bladder, thereby releasing some or all of the additive retained within the bottle cap. Thus, one feature of the present invention is the provision of a user-releasable quantity of an additive retained within a bottle cap, until released by a user.
Typical aspirin tablets contain 325 milligrams (5 grains) of aspirin compounded with various binders and fillers to permit tablet formation. Water-borne aspirin requires no such inert ingredients. Thus, the additive comprising aspirin within the bottle cap can be stored in a more concentrated form that would be available in tablet form, yet is less deleterious to the stomach of the user because it is diluted immediately prior to ingestion.
However, the additive may include a buffering agent, if desired, for example calcium carbonate, commonly used as an over the counter antacid in tablet and liquid form. Concentration in suspension with the aspirin would be sufficient to render the mixture approximately neutral pH. Calcium carbonate has been proven to offer many health benefits, including bone strength, heart health, colon health, emotional calmness, and the like.
The dispenser of the present invention may include a plastic bottle of approximately six fluid ounces. A convenient approach includes two bottles stacked "piggy-back" with the cap of the lower bottle nestled into a depression in the bottom of the upper bottle. The pair may thus be joined by an easily broken seal. This pairing reflects the usual one-or-two tablet dosage regimen recommended by both aspirin manufacturers and doctors.
Flavoring agents may be used with appropriate caution to prevent beverage use by children. The bottle cap of the present invention easily lends itself to child-proof arrangements.
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art from a review of the following detailed description along with the accompanying drawing figures.