Activity of antibiotic admixtures subjected to different freeze-thaw treatments

Drug Intell Clin Pharm. 1980 May;14(5):353-7. doi: 10.1177/106002808001400505.


The freezing of antibiotic admixtures has been proposed as a potentially useful method by which the efficiency of admixture services might be improved. The time involved in thawing, however, has discouraged the implementation of this practice. This study describes a technique of thawing frozen antibiotic admixtures contained in minibags in commercially available microwave ovens. A quantitative microbiological agar gel diffusion assay was employed to determine the effect of such treatment on the antibiotic activity of the admixture. Admixtures containing cephalothin sodium, cefazolin sodium, cefamandole nafate, cefoxitin sodium, penicillin G potassium, ampicillin sodium, oxacillin sodium, carbenicillin disodium, and gentamicin sulfate in dextrose 5% solution were frozen at -20 degrees C for 30 days. The admixtures were assayed immediately before freezing, and again after either thawing technique: that is, upon exposure of the minibags to room temperature air or to microwave radiation. Assays were also performed 8 and 24 hours after thawing in order to assess antibiotic stability following each freeze-thaw treatment. It was discovered that, with the exception of ampicillin sodium, each of the antibiotics studied could be frozen and thawed as described without significant loss of activity, and were stable for 24 hours after thawing. The application of a freeze microwave-thaw technique to central admixture services can be seen as a cost-effective method of circumventing many of the problems associated with existing programs.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / analysis
  • Boston
  • Drug Compounding / economics*
  • Drug Stability*
  • Freezing*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral*
  • Microwaves


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents