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Evaluation of the stability of vancomycin solutions at concentrations used in clinical services
  1. Morgane Masse,
  2. Stéphanie Genay,
  3. Anthony Martin Mena,
  4. Natacha Carta,
  5. Damien Lannoy,
  6. Christine Barthélémy,
  7. Bertrand Décaudin,
  8. Pascal Odou
  1. Univ. Lille, CHU Lille, ULR 7365–GRITA–Groupe de Recherche sur les formes Injectables et les Technologies Associées, F-59000 Lille, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Morgane Masse, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lille, Lille 59000, France; morgane.masse{at}

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Vancomycin hydrochloride is an antibiotic belonging to the glycopeptide family and acts by inhibiting the synthesis of the peptidoglycan wall. This antibiotic is active against Gram-positive aerobic and anaerobic bacteria1 2 and is commonly used in hospitals to treat serious infections.3 4

Vancomycin has slow bactericidal time-dependent activity and can be administered by continuous or intermittent intravenous infusion. In France, administering vancomycin by continuous infusion over 24 hours is recommended.5 6

The Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) recommends reconstituting a 1 g vial with 20 mL of water for injection (WFI), then diluting it in 100 mL of saline solution. The amount of vancomycin to treat an adult infection is superior to 1 g and so the volume administered can be higher than 100 mL. This volume must be limited in children or in patients on water restriction, such as those suffering from hyponatraemia and cardiovascular diseases or are in intensive care.7

Some studies on vancomycin stability have already been performed. Solutions at 5 and 10 mg/mL were stable for 58 days at +4°C in 100 mL polyvinyl chloride (PVC) infusion bags with no specification with regard to protection from light.8 Vancomycin was stable at 5 mg/mL in PVC bags for 48 hours at +22°C without protection from light and for 7 days at +4°C with protection from light.9 Raverdy et al 10 examined the stability of vancomycin diluted in 5% dextrose at high concentration (83 mg/mL) and was stable for 72 hours at +37°C.

However, none of these studies reflects real infusion conditions as vancomycin is usually administered at 30 mg/kg/day.11 12 In practice, clinical services infuse vancomycin into electric syringe pumps using 50 mL (for adults) or 20 mL (for children) syringes. No stability study has yet been performed for such concentrations, in 50 or 20 mL syringes, at room temperature, nor has the reconstitution procedure13 been …

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