How to Open a Glass Ampule

How to Open a Glass Ampule. Many pharmaceuticals are packaged in glass ampules so that their contents will only be touched by solid glass. Open a glass ampule with care by following these steps.

Prepare your work area. Drugs packaged in glass ampules need to remain in a sterile environment because they are typically injected into the body. Lay a clean towel on your work surface, wash your hands and have plenty of alcohol wipes available.

Check to see if your ampule has been pre-scored. A painted band around the narrow neck of the ampule usually means it is ready to open without scoring. If your ampule is not scored, you should draw a finely serrated knife or file around the narrow part of the ampule to weaken the glass so it can be snapped open.

Protect your hands from broken glass by wrapping the ampule in a paper towel, light cloth or piece of gauze. If the ampule does not break cleanly, this prevents you from getting cut and helps contain the glass shards.

Hold the ampule with both hands, with one thumb against the narrow top section. Pull the bottom of the ampule towards you while pushing the top section away from you with easy, even pressure. A light pressure applied correctly will cleanly snap the ampule open, while using too much force can cause it to shatter.

Unwrap the opened ampule and discard the top. Your medication is now ready to be removed from the ampule as directed by your physician.