The Canadian journal of hospital pharmacy

Stability of Ibuprofen solutions in normal saline or 5% dextrose in water.

PMID 22479088


A shortage of the standard medication for treatment of patent ductus arteriosus has necessitated use of parenteral ibuprofen, which is equally efficacious for this indication. The beyond-use date recommended by the manufacturer is very short and has implications for resource allocation and wastage. To evaluate the stability of ibuprofen (undiluted or diluted in either 0.9% sodium chloride [normal saline; NS] or 5% dextrose in water [D5W]) with storage for up to 21 days under refrigeration or at room temperature in glass vials or polypropylene syringes. Six glass vials, each containing undiluted ibuprofen (5 mg/mL), were prepared. In addition, ibuprofen was diluted to 2.5 mg/mL in NS or D5W, and 6 syringes were prepared for each diluent (total of 12 syringes). Finally, 6 extension tubes were each primed with 1 mL of ibuprofen (duplicates of undiluted solution and solutions diluted to 2.5 mg/mL in NS or D5W). Half of the vials, syringes, and tubes were stored under refrigeration (4°C) and the other half at room temperature (23°C). The concentration of ibuprofen was determined by a validated, stability-indicating liquid chromatographic method on study days 0, 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 17, and 21 for samples stored in vials and syringes, or at time 0, 6, 24, and 30 h for samples stored in tubes. Analysis of variance showed differences in the percentage of ibuprofen remaining due to study day (p < 0.001) and diluent (p < 0.005), but no differences due to concentration (p = 0.06) or temperature (p = 0.12). All solutions of ibuprofen were stable throughout the study period, retaining at least 90% of their initial concentration. Undiluted ibuprofen (5 mg/mL) stored in glass vials and ibuprofen diluted to 2.5 mg/mL with either NS or D5W and stored in polypropylene syringes will retain more than 92% of its initial concentration with storage for up to 14 days at 4°C. A beyond-use date of 14 days would allow for up to 24 h storage at 23°C during this 14-day period. Storage of ibuprofen solutions in extension tubing should not exceed 29 h at 4°C or 17 h at 23°C. Beyond-use dates should be applied only after consideration of US Pharmacopeia Revised General Chapter <797> guidelines for compounding of sterile preparations.