Identification of potentially irritating intravenous medications.Enferm Intensiva (Engl Ed). 2022 Jul-Sep; 33(3):132-140.EI
To identify commonly used intravenous drugs that may produce endothelial damage.
An experimental research study was performed using a sample of 62 intravenous drugs commonly used in emergency care, pH and osmolarity were measured. Subsequently, based on these values, the theoretical capacity to cause irritation or endovascular damage was determined and classified as high, moderate, and low.
Samples from 19 drugs for fluid therapy, 21 antibiotics and 22 drugs for intravenous use were studied. Glucose solutions, sodium bicarbonate 1M and mannitol 10% showed a high capacity to cause venous irritation. Vancomycin, ciprofloxacin, amiodarone, haloperidol, and labetalol solution presented a high capacity for irritation based on their acidic pH. The antibiotics, dexketoprofen, diazepam, digoxin, etomidate, phenytoin, levetiracetam and metamizole also showed high osmotic values in their reconstituted or undiluted presentations. Moreover, osmolarity of diazepam, digoxin and phenytoin remained high despite being diluted in 100 ml of saline.
Knowing the pH and osmolarity of intravenous drugs allows their capacity to cause endothelial damage to be assessed. The use of comprehensive tables based on the chemical properties of the drugs can be a useful tool to help prevent chemically-induced phlebitis.