Stability of Ampicillin in Normal Saline Following Refrigerated Storage and 24-Hour Pump Recirculation

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Purpose: Use of ampicillin in outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) has historically been complicated by frequent dosing and short beyond use dates. However historic stability data relied on inaccurate testing methods. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the stability of ampicillin using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), the gold standard, in a real-world OPAT dosing model using continuous infusion at room temperature over 24 hours immediately following preparation compared to batches stored under refrigeration for 24 hours, 72 hours, and 7 days.

Methods: An HPLC method was developed and validated as stability – indicating according to guidance in USP general Chapter < 1225 >. Method development included linearity, precision, accuracy, repeatability and forced degradation. Four batches were prepared using 4 different lots from 2 different manufacturers for each storage condition (immediate, 24 hours, 72 hours, and 7 days). Three 2-gram vials were each reconstituted with 10 mL of sterile water for injection (SWFI) and added to 250 mL of normal saline by a licensed pharmacist and stored in a laboratory refrigerator (2 – 8oC). A pump system was used to continuously circulate the solutions through medical grade tubing at room temperature. One milliliter aliquots were removed from each batch at time 0, 4 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours and analyzed for ampicillin concentration using the aforementioned HPLC method. The samples were filtered prior to analysis using a 0.22-micron syringe filter and analyzed in triplicates along with freshly prepared calibration samples (24 – 12 mg/mL). Peak area was used to determine percent recovery for each sample.

Results:Each batch was assayed for initial concentration (20.34 – 21.50 mg/mL) upon preparation, and percent recovery was compared to that initial concentration thereafter. Acceptable recovery was defined as 90 – 110% of initial concentration. On the day of product preparation (immediate use), the average percent recovery over 24 hours was 96.4%. The other average percent recoveries were as follows: 95.8% (24-hour storage), 94.6% (72-hour storage) and 90.3% (7-day storage). These data represent the average percent recovery for all time points during the 24 hours sampling (n = 60 for each experiment). When evaluating individual time points, the percent recovery remained above 90% for all batches and time points except for the 7-day storage experiment. Under 7-day storage conditions, the percent recovery fell below 90% after 4 hours of circulation through the medical grade tubing. Furthermore, 95% confidence interval for percent recovery for ampicillin in the samples stayed within 90 – 110% of the initial concentration for the duration of the experiment for all test groups except 7-day storage.

Conclusion:Ampicillin can be prepared and stored in a refrigerator for up to 72-hours prior to continuously infusing at room temperature over 24 hours with less than a 10% loss of potency over the dosing period. This model supports twice weekly OPAT delivery of ampicillin.


Las Vegas, NV

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