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Difference between Ampoule and Vial

Difference between Ampoule and Vial

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between an ampoule and a vial. Both are glass containers that hold medication, but there are some key differences. An ampoule is a small, thin glass container with one dose of medicine in it. A vial is a larger glass container that can hold multiple doses of medicine. Ampoules are often used for single doses of injections, while vials are more common for intravenous medications. Knowing the difference between these two types of containers can help you understand your medication better and make sure you’re taking it the right way.

What is Ampoule?

Ampoules are single-dose, sealed glass or plastic containers used to contain and preserve liquid, gas, or solid pharmaceutical products. Ampoules range in size from under 2 milliliters upwards of 5 milliliters for liquids and 0.2 grams to 10 grams for solids.

  • Ampoules provide many benefits like improved stability, lower cost of production and handling as well as larger shelf lives due to their airtight seals. Ampoules are produced by hand-blowing molten glass into molds that are slightly cooled before the ampoule is extracted.
  • With advances in technological processes, molding machines have been developed that automate most parts of the ampoule production process making it quicker and more efficient.
  • Ampoules still occupy a major role in both traditional medicine ointments and modern injectable treatments today due to their convenience and user-friendliness which has made the medical industry easier to administer health care effectively.

What is Vial?

  • Vials are a type of small container composed of glass, plastic, or both. Vials have long been used for liquid medications, but they can also store items like waxes and powders.
  • Vial containers are also used for storing and transporting hazardous materials such as laboratory samples or reagents. Vials can be sealed with a variety of sealing agents to maintain their contents’ original state.
  • These Vial containers come in various shapes, sizes, and materials with additional features tailored to specific needs and applications. Vials have become essential tools in the pharmaceutical industry due to their stability, safety, accuracy, convenience, and cost-effectiveness.

Difference between Ampoule and Vial

Ampoule and Vial, although both are considered small sealed containers often used in pharmaceuticals, they do have distinguishing characteristics when compared side by side.

  • Ampoules are typically made of glass and feature a narrow neck with an even smaller opening.
  • Ampoules are more likely to be used for single-dose applications and rarely reused because they must be broken to access the liquid inside.
  • In contrast, Vials have a larger opening which is usually accompanied by a stopper or lid.
  • The wider opening makes it easier to draw out the contents of a vial for multiple doses if needed.

Generally speaking, ampoules possess greater durability due to their construction; however, this does not prevent the careful use of vials as many such containers can be properly sealed with suitable caps or lids to prolong their shelf life under ideal conditions.


Ampoules and vials are two of the most common types of containers used in the pharmaceutical industry. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but what’s the difference between them? An ampoule is a small glass container that is sealed with a rubber stopper or plug. It is typically used to store liquids or solutions. A vial, on the other hand, is a larger glass container that has a screw-on cap. It is usually used to store solids or powders. Both ampoules and vials can be made from either glass or plastic. So which one should you use for your product? That depends on what type of product you’re selling. If you’re selling a liquid or solution, then an ampoule would be the best choice. If you’re selling a solid or powder, then a vial would be the better option.

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