A hermetically sealed container -- most often a small sealed glass vial -- used to hold a sterile medicine to be used usually for a subcutaneous, intramuscular, or intravenous injection. These are most often seen holding insulin for diabetics. Another common use for ampules is to store smelling salts. When the smelling salt ampules are broken the ammonium carbonate and perfume release a pungent odor of ammonia that can nearly wake up the dead. The ampules are surrounded by a heavy cloth to contain the broken glass once the ampule is opened.