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Epinephrine doses delivered from auto-injectors stored at excessively high temperatures

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Drug development and industrial pharmacy





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CONTEXT: Prompt injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) from epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) is the primary treatment for anaphylaxis in out-of-hospital settings. Storage of EAIs at room temperature (25 °C) is advised; however, storage at excessively high temperatures sometimes occurs. To our knowledge, there are no previous publications on the doses of epinephrine ejected from EAIs after storage at such temperatures.

OBJECTIVE: We examined the epinephrine doses delivered from activated EAIs stored constantly or cyclically at 70 °C.

METHODS: Twenty-five in-date EAIs were stored constantly or cyclically at 70 °C (excessive heat) or 25 °C (controls) for 5 d or 10 d. EAIs were activated and the epinephrine doses in the ejected solutions were measured using HPLC-UV. The enantiomeric purity of epinephrine was also measured by HPLC-UV.

RESULTS: Control EAIs ejected a volume of 0.300 ± 0.006 mL containing 103.7 ± 3.3% of labeled dose (LD). After 5 d or 10 d of constant storage at 70 °C and activation at 70 °C, EAIs ejected a volume of 0.367 ± 0.008 mL containing 96.8 ± 3.8% LD and 0.373 ± 0.007 mL containing 77.7 ± 3.3% LD, respectively. After 5 d of cyclic storage at 70 °C and cooling to 25 °C before activation, EAIs ejected a volume of 0.311 ± 0.008 mL containing 87.2 ± 1.9% LD. Under the experimental conditions of this study, the resultant chromatographic peaks of epinephrine solutions from all EAIs represented only the pure l-enantiomer of epinephrine.

CONCLUSION: EAIs should be stored under recommended conditions of the manufacturer. EAIs stored at excessively high temperatures cannot be used to treat humans while still hot, and when cooled, cannot be relied on to deliver the labeled epinephrine dose in anaphylaxis.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Anaphylaxis, Drug Stability, Drug Storage, Epinephrine, Hot Temperature, Humans, Injections, Pharmaceutical Solutions

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