Types of Prescription Vials and their Usages in Hospitals

Prescription vials, as the term suggests, are used for storing medicines as prescribed by doctors. The term ‘vial,’ is broadly used in pharma field and many might think vials are the same as bottles. You can say vials are small bottles.

Vials used for medicinal purposes are generally small containers and could be made either from plastic or glass. Plastic vials are usually made from polypropylene.

Use of Prescription Vials in Hospitals

Also referred to as pharmacy vials, the primary use of vials in hospitals is for storing medicines, in liquid, solid or powdered form. They come in different sizes and they are helpful to dispense prescribed doses of medicines. Injections are stored in glass vials and they come in specific doses. Such vials have to be punctured to open them. Insulin and other injections are transferred to syringes by puncturing the screw top and then injected into the patients using the syringe needle.

Types of Prescription Vials

There are different types of vials, depending on the size, make or the cap used.

As per the cap uses, there are two main types of prescription vials – screw thread and patent lip vials. The former has a screw cap and the latter has a cork or a stopper cap. The screw thread vials are mostly used for liquid medications such as injection fluids.

Following are the further classification of medical vials as per the type of caps used.

Common Neck Vials: These are easy to open vials but at the same time adhere to ‘child-resistant protocols.’ Such vials are useful for senior citizens as well as the cap can be opened without much effort but also offers high safety as they confirm to USP ‘tight’ standards. They are available in different colours. They are used to store medicines in tablet forms.

Snap Cap Vials: They have an interlocking open snap-on cap which is easy to open. You get them in different colours and sizes.

Those who use alternative medicines can opt for glass pre roll tubes to store their pre-rolled joints. They are safe, secure, child-proof and also simple to use.

Push & Turn Vials: These vials come in two pieces and have a push and turn cap. All you have to do is push the cap down to open it and when you close it, you will hear a snap which means it is secure. They are available in different colours.

Reversible Cap Vials: They are named so because the cap can be used in two different styles. The first one is push and turn cap and is a child-resistant cap. If you need easy access, you can simply turn the cap over. Reversible cap vials are also available in different colours.

Since alternative medicines are getting popular and legal, vials that fit for the use are also in demand. An example is the doob tube which is used for storing pre-rolled medicines. Since they are compact, they are perfect to use while travelling.

Push Tab Vials:  The vials are easy to use and hence are much helpful for people with dexterity issues. They also have reversible caps which can be turned upside down to make it an easy-open screw top.

Prefer Vials: They are wide-mouthed vials with a push and turn closure. It is easy to fill and easy to use but the caps are child-resistant.

The use of oval bottles is also predominant in hospitals and such vials fit well in the palm of the hand and thus is easy to hold.  Its size and easy to use structure is convenient while administering medicines. The narrow neck ensures there is no spillage.

Plastic and Glass Vials

Both types of vials are popular and much needed in pharmaceutical industry. The quality of plastic used for making prescription vials are high and thus there is no worry about contamination. Also, the plastic used is also recyclable.

As for glass vials, it is better to use them for liquid medicines such as injections. Glass is also popular material for medical vials because they do not react with the components in the medicine and are safe. But then, there is the breakage issue and high transportation cost.

Medical vials because of its size and easy to use mechanism are widely used in the healthcare industry. Since most medicines have to be used as per the prescribed dosage, many prescription vials come with the required amount of medicines. Examples are injectible medicines such as insulin. Vials are thus the best containers for all types of medicines.