Visual compatibility of common nebulizer medications with 7% sodium chloride solution

Fox, Laura M.; Foushee, Jaime A.; Jackson, Delilah J.; Watson, Holly
June 2011
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;6/1/2011, Vol. 68 Issue 11, p1032
Academic Journal
Purpose. The visual compatibility of hypertonic saline solution with various other drugs used for nebulizer therapy in cystic fibrosis (CF) was assessed. Methods. Nebulized hypertonic saline solution has proved to be an effective adjunctive therapy for management of CF-related respiratory symptoms. Admixing of hypertonic saline solution and standard medications for nebulizer delivery has been suggested as a way to reduce the time-treatment burden on patients with CF, but that practice has been discouraged due to concerns about potential incompatibilities that could lead to precipitate formation (in the nebulizer or airway) and impeded drug delivery. For the study described here, visual and turbidimetric testing was conducted to assess the compatibility of admixtures of hypertonic saline solution and 11 medications widely used in CF (acetylcysteine, albuterol, atropine, cromolyn sodium, dexamethasone, glycopyrrolate, ipratropium, metaproterenol, sodium bicarbonate, terbutaline, and tobramycin). Three samples each of admixtures of the 11 drugs and 7% sodium chloride (experimental samples) or sterile water for injection (control samples) were prepared. The testing procedure entailed four turbidimetry measurements obtained at 15-minute intervals, as well as visual checks for signs of incompatibility (e.g., haze, particle or gas formation, alteration of color); analysis of variance was used to evaluate differences in test results between the experimental and control samples. Results. Ten of the 11 medications assessed were visually compatible with 7% sodium chloride solution, as determined by serial turbidimetric testing and visual inspection; only cromolyn sodium was found to be visually incompatible with hypertonic saline. Conclusion. Eleven medications used in nebulizers for the treatment of CF were visually compatible with 7% sodium chloride solution.


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