Background and importance Glass ampoules (GA) have many advantages but many disadvantages too, like detachment of microscopic glass particles over the drug on opening that may cause phlebitis, embolism and other side effects during administration. To prevent these problems, the use of filters is recommended before drug administration. Nevertheless, filters are priceless and are incompatible with many drugs.
Aim and objectives Identify comercialised ampoule drugs available in our pharmacy service (PS), check those contained within glass ampoules, and bibliographic review of the drugs’ compatibility with filters.
Material and methods We used our informatics program FarmaTools to obtain a list of drugs contained in ampoules available in our PS. Then we verified physically the material that these ampoules were made of. Finally, we conducted a bibliographic review of the drugs to check their compatibility with filters by using the keywords ‘ampoule’ and ‘filter’ in Micromedex, the individual drug data sheets and the Handbook on Injectable Drugs (17th edn.).
Results There are 1870 drugs available in our PS, of which 136 (7.27%) are packaged in ampoules. Of these, 12.50% of the ampoules were made of plastic and the remaining 87.50% were made of glass. No report on filter compatibility was found in 75.63% of drugs contained in GA. With respect to the remaining 24.37%, only 3.36% were incompatible with filters and the remaining 21.01% were compatible with 0.22, 0.45 and 5 micron filters.
Conclusion and relevance
Most of the drugs are packaged in ampoules made of glass.
There is no evidence about drugs’ compatibility with filters, but for those drugs that such evidence exists, the majority are compatible with filters.
Despite the evidence about these problems related to opening GA, the information available about drugs’ compatibility is limited and more studies are needed.
References and/or acknowledgements 1. Joo GE, Sohng KY, Park MY. The effect of different methods of intravenous injection on glass particle contamination from ampules. Springerplus 2016;5:15.
2. Cassista J, Payne-Gagnon J, Martel B, Gagnon MP. Applying theory to understand and modify nurse intention to adhere to recommendations regarding the use of filter needles: an intervention mapping approach. Nurs Res Pract 2014;2014:356153.
3. Waller DG, George CF. Ampoules, infusions, and filters. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 198615;292(6522):714–715.
Conflict of interest No conflict of interest
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