The words ampule and vial are usually used together and found on the same shelves on labs and chemistry-based labs. Read on to understand their difference. Ampules and vials are standard products used for storing and preserving medicinal fluids, capsules, and liquids, among other pharmaceutical components. Other are also used for storing drinkable solutions.
While these terms have different meaning, a lot of people mistake ampules for vials and vice versa. The differences between vials and ampules are explained below.
What Is An Ampule?
An ampule is a small dosage vial, usually with a sealed neck. They are used to store liquids or fluids used in the medical industry. The ampule neck is usually sealed with an open flame to prevent contamination. The seal also helps prevent air, moisture, and water from getting inside and contaminating contents inside the ampule.
Ampules made of glass are the most common, however, you will also find plastic ampules.
There is also double-tip ampoule designs on the market. This type of ampule is designed with tip at the head and tail. This means that you can open them from either side. Glass ampule designs are easier to open. However, you can open them or break their seal by cracking the top of their neck. Once you break the seal, you cannot reuse the ampule and just throw it away. If the seal is accidentally broken, you can store the ampule contents in a vial or slim pin.
What Is A Vial?
A vial is a small container used for holding liquid drugs, medicinal fluids, serums, and other liquids in the medical sector. Vials are also often used as vessels for storing scientific samples. They are usually made of glass.
Vials can be sealed or unsealed. The latter typically come with a cap to screw on or a rubber plug. Some also come with droppers used to retrieve the contents in measured quantities. Vials usually come with flat bases that allow you to place them on counters and flat surfaces.
What Is The Difference Between An Ampule And A Vial?
One of the primary differences between vials and ampules is that vials are reusable and ampules are not. Vials usually come with a removable seal that you can screw off or remove and put back. Therefore, they are used to store contents for multiple uses. On the other hand, ampules usually require you to break their seal, and you cannot use them after that. This means that you cannot reseal them once their seal is broken. Therefore, they are only suitable for one-time use. Additionally, ampules are typically smaller than vials.
Their applications also differ. For instance, vials are used for pharmaceutical, scientific, industrial, and research industries. On the other hand, ampules are commonly applied in spas, first aid, retail, veterinary services, cosmetics, dental, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic sectors.
In a nutshell, ampule applications are more diverse than vial. Additionally, ampules also offer potency protection due to tight seals that do not contaminate. That cannot be said about vials.