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Physicochemical stability of etoposide diluted at range concentrations between 0.38 and 1.75 mg/mL in polyolefin bags
  1. Elise D’Huart1,
  2. Jean Vigneron1,
  3. Pauline Lider1,
  4. Béatrice Demoré1,2
  1. 1 Pharmacy, University Hospital, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
  2. 2 University of Lorraine, EA 4360 APEMAC, Nancy, France
  1. Correspondence to Elise D’Huart, Pharmacy Department, University Hospital, Allée du Morvan, 54511 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France; dhuartelise{at}


Introduction According to the manufacturers, the diluted solution of etoposide should not exceed 0.4 mg/mL because precipitation may occur. For high doses or for patients requiring fluid restrictions, etoposide phosphate may be an option but shortages occurs frequently. The objective of this work was to study the stability of etoposide solutions between 0.38 and 1.75 mg/mL, diluted in 0.9% sodium chloride (0.9% NaCl) or 5% glucose (G5%) in polyolefin bags, stored at 25°C and between 2°C to 8°C, in a 61-day period. This study also observed the impact of an infusion pump on the physical and chemical stability of etoposide solutions.

Materials and method Chemical stability was analysed at days 0, 9, 16, 21, 28 and 61 by high-performance liquid chromatography. Physical stability was evaluated by visual and subvisual inspection. The action of an infusion pump on solutions was evaluated to verify the impact of the mechanical pumping action on the etoposide solutions. This investigation was performed at day 61, at the end of the study.

Results Etoposide solutions diluted at 0.38, 0.74 and 1.26 mg/mL in G5% and stored at 25°C were stable for 61 days and at 1.75 mg/mL for 28 days. In 0.9% NaCl, etoposide was less stable, with more precipitations observed. The action of an infusion pump has not caused any physical modifications.

Conclusion Storage at 25°C and G5% as diluent are recommended for etoposide high concentration with 61-day stability up to a concentration of 1.26 mg/mL and 28-day stability up to a concentration of 1.75 mg/mL. As a precaution, the use of an administration set with an in-line micro-filter is nevertheless recommended. Storage at 2°C to 8°C and the use of 0.9% NaCl increase the risk of precipitation.

  • drug stability
  • etoposide
  • storage conditions
  • chemotherapy
  • HPLC

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