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5PSQ-102 Hazardous drug colour marks the difference
  1. A Ferrer Machín,
  2. JA Leon Gil,
  3. M Vera Cabrera,
  4. E Ramos Santana,
  5. MA Navarro Dávila,
  6. S Hernández Rojas,
  7. A Montero Delgado,
  8. I Plasencia García,
  9. K Viñas Romero,
  10. C Fraile Clemente,
  11. FJ Merino Alonso
  1. Hospital Nuestra Señora la Candelaria, Pharmacy Service, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain


Background Hazardous drugs (MPs) are defined as the drugs that cause carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, reproductive toxicity, low-dose organ toxicity, genotoxicity, and new drugs with structure profiles and toxicity similar to existing drugs that were determined to be hazardous according to the above criteria. Because of their toxicity profile, preventive measures should be taken for their preparation and administration.

Purpose Design a colour code to standardise the measures that health professionals must adopt in the elaboration and administration of MPs.

Material and methods The drugs included in the NIOSH list were analysed and it was established that a colour code should be introduced according to precautions to be taken during handling (preparation and administration).

Results MPs were classified into four groups based on two criteria: pharmaceutical form and group to which it belongs in the NIOSH list. These four groups were selected in terms of specific manipulation tasks and the protective clothing (gloves, gown, goggles, mask) for each type of activity (preparation and administration). Green was assigned to oral dosage forms; pink to drugs that belong to group 3 of the NIOSH list, in other words, drugs that present a risk to the reproductive process and which can also affect males and females who are trying to have children, and pregnant or lactating females, but do not present a risk to other staff (regardless of the pharmaceutical form); blue to liquid dosage forms, topical sterile and topical non-sterile dosage forms; and red to parenteral dosage forms. In accordance with this classification, the measures that health professionals should adopt in the elaboration and administration of MPs were defined.

Conclusion As a result of the potencial toxicity of the handling of MPs for health personnel, preventive measures should be established. For this, it is necessary to simplify the identification and management of MPs included in the Hospitals’ Pharmacotherapeutic Guide.

The classification based on the pharmaceutical form and group of the NIOSH list supposes a novelty . This classification tries to establish a regulation to standardise a colour code in hospitals.

References and/or Acknowledgements

  • Medicamentos Peligrosos. Medidas de prevención para su preparación y administración.

  • Safe–procedure development manage hazardous–drugs in the workplace.

  • List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous–Drugs in Healthcare–Settings.

References and/or AcknowledgementsNo conflict of interest

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