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Details for Patent: 5,740,792

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Details for Patent: 5,740,792

Title: Inhaler for powdered medications with gear-teeth counter assembly
Abstract:A powder dispenser includes a powder housing for holding a supply of powdered material to be dispensed, the powder housing including an inhalation conduit provided displaced relation to the powdered material supply; a metering plate including a metered dose hole for holding a metered amount of the powdered material, and positioned below the powdered material supply, the metering plate and the powder housing being relatively rotatable with respect to each other about a common central axis; a counter providing a visual count of the number of doses of the powdered material that have been dispensed or remain to be dispensed in response to the relative rotation, the counter including counter rings providing the visual count, the counter rings being rotatable about the common central axis and having indicia thereon which display the visual count, and an actuating mechanism rotatable about the central axis for incrementally rotating the counter rings in response to the relative rotation; a nozzle for breaking up agglomerates of powdered material from the inhalation conduit to form micronized powdered material, the nozzle including a cavity for changing the direction of flow of the powder from the direction of the inhalation conduit to a second different direction, and a curved wall for substantially continuously changing the direction of flow of the powder in a spiral manner in the second direction in the cavity; and a closure cap covering the powder housing and priming the powder dispenser for use automatically upon removal thereof.
Inventor(s): Ashley; Charles R. (Clinton, NJ), Huck; Charles M. (Gladstone, NJ), Sochon; Henry R. (Clifton, NJ), Wilkinson; Ken (Round Lake, IL)
Assignee: Schering Corporation (Kenilworth, NJ)
Filing Date:Jun 01, 1995
Application Number:08/460,604
Claims:1. A counter for a powdered medication inhaler which is actuated for dose delivery by a reciprocating partial relative rotation of its components, said counter comprising:

a continuous counter ring having counting indicia thereon and having gear teeth therearound;

an intermittent counter ring adjacent to said continuous counter ring, said intermittent counter ring having counting indicia thereon and having gear teeth therearound;

display means through which one of said counting indicia from said continuous counter ring and one of said counting indicia from said intermittent counter ring are displayed to indicate a count corresponding to a number of doses of powdered material that have been dispensed or remain to be dispensed;

actuating means including pawl means engaging with said gear teeth of said continuous counter ring, and said intermittent counter ring, for rotating said continuous counter ring one increment each time that a dose of the powdered material is dispensed to display another one of said counting indicia of said continuous counter ring through said display means, and for rotating said intermittent counter ring one increment every predetermined number of rotational increments of said continuous counter ring to display another one of said counting indicia of said intermittent counter ring through said display means; and

spring means for biasing said pawl means into engagement with said gear teeth of said continuous counter ring and said intermittent counter ring.

2. The counter according to claim 1, wherein said pawl means includes a pawl secured to the end of said spring means for engagement within the gear teeth of one of said continuous counter ring and said intermittent counter ring, and a pawl extension secured to the end of said spring means and positioned at a height above said pawl for engagement within the gear teeth of the other of said continuous counter ring and said intermittent counter ring.

3. The counter according to claim 1, wherein said gear teeth of said continuous counter ring are arranged in correspondence with said counting indicia thereon, and said gear teeth of said intermittent counter ring are arranged in correspondence with said counting indicia thereon.

4. The counter according to claim 1, wherein the gear teeth of said continuous counter ring include a plurality of successive first gear teeth of a first depth and at least one second gear tooth of a second, greater depth, each said second gear tooth being positioned after every predetermined number of said first gear teeth; and said intermittent counter ring includes a plurality of successive third gear teeth of a depth equal to the depth of each said second gear tooth of said continuous counter ring so that said pawl means engages with successive ones of said first gear teeth during successive dosing operations and engages with one said second gear tooth of said continuous counter ring and one said third gear tooth of said intermittent counter ring after a plurality of the dosing operations.

5. The counter according to claim 4, wherein said first and second gear teeth are formed on an inner surface of said continuous counter ring and said third gear teeth are formed on an inner surface of said intermittent counter ring.

6. The counter according to claim 1, wherein said pawl means engages said gear teeth of said continuous counter ring and said intermittent counter ring to rotate said continuous counter ring and said intermittent counter ring in a first rotational direction, and further including detent means for preventing rotation of said continuous counter ring and said intermittent counter ring in a second rotational direction opposite to said first rotational direction.

7. The counter according to claim 6, wherein said detent means includes first rotation prevention detent means mounted on said base for engaging with one of said first and second gear teeth to prevent rotation of said continuous counter ring in said second rotational direction and second rotation prevention detent means mounted on said base for engaging with one of said third gear teeth to prevent rotation of said intermittent counter ring in said second rotational direction.

8. The counter according to claim 1, further including pawl driver means for incrementally rotating said pawl means, said pawl driver means including a retainer rotatably mounted coaxially with said continuous counter ring and said intermittent counter ring, said retainer including first pawl driver means for engaging with one side of said pawl means to incrementally rotate said pawl means in a first rotational direction at the end of rotation of said retainer in said first rotational direction to cause said pawl means to engage a successive gear tooth of said continuous counter ring, and second pawl driver means for engaging an opposite side of said pawl means to incrementally rotate said pawl means in a second, opposite rotational direction at the end of rotation of said retainer in said second, opposite rotational direction to cause said pawl means to incrementally rotate said continuous counter ring therewith.

9. The counter according to claim 8, wherein said first and second pawl driver means are formed as opposite edges of an arcuate pawl driving wall connected with said retainer.

10. The counter according to claim 8, wherein said first and second pawl driver means are formed as radially extending pawl driving end walls connected with said retainer.

11. The counter according to claim 8, wherein said first and second pawl driver means are spaced apart by a distance such that rotation of said retainer by a first arcuate distance causes incremental rotation of said pawl means by a second smaller arcuate distance.

12. The counter according to claim 1, wherein the gear teeth of said intermittent counter ring have a configuration with an outer, substantially circumferentially extending portion and a sloped portion extending inwardly from said circumferentially extending portion.

13. The counter according to claim 1, wherein said continuous counter ring is rotatably mounted, and said intermittent counter ring is rotatably mounted on said continuous counter ring coaxially with said continuous counter ring.

14. The counter according to claim 1, wherein said intermittent counter ring is rotatably mounted, and said continuous counter ring is rotatably mounted on said intermittent counter ring coaxially with said intermittent counter ring.
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