Ampoules are small glass capsules with a capacity of 1 to 5 mils, or sometimes more. The glass ampoules may be obtained of various shapes and sizes, and in white or amber glass. The glass must be alkali-free and should preferably be hard Jena glass, as certain substances, such as amylocaine and morphine salts, ordered in solution in ampoules are decomposed in the presence of small quantities of alkali. The ampoules may be filled with a hypodermic syringe or with the aid of any similar contrivance for injecting the solution into the ampoule. The filled ampoules should be sealed in a blow-pipe, or bunsen, flame, and may be sterilised by placing for half an hour in boiling water, to which has been added a small quantity of salt to raise the boiling-point. A simpler method is to sterilise the empty ampoules by boiling in distilled water for half an hour, and to prepare and sterilise the solution, with which they are to be filled, in a Jena glass beaker without a lip and covered with a clock-glass. The sterilised empty ampoules should be placed mouth downwards in the solution, and the beaker covered with the clock-glass. The beaker should then be cautiously heated until the liquid is warmed sufficiently to expel nearly all the air from the ampoules. It is then set aside to cool, the solution being drawn into the ampoule by the contraction of the small amount of air and vapour left in it, the ampoule is thus nearly filled. When cold the ampoules are removed and scaled in a blow-pipe flame. If desired they may be again sterilised at once, or at a later date. The ampoules should bear a label indicating the quantity of medicament contained in a definite volume of the liquid.
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.