Availability, stability, and sterility of pralidoxime for mass casualty use

Ann Emerg Med. 2006 Mar;47(3):272-7. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2005.10.020. Epub 2006 Jan 10.


Study objective: Pralidoxime is indicated to treat patients poisoned with nerve agents. It is available in intravenous formulation for more seriously ill hospitalized patients and intramuscular formulation for field treatment and less seriously ill patients. Our study describes a method to convert the intramuscular formulation for intravenous use and determines the stability and sterility of the resulting formulation over time and under various environmental conditions.

Methods: An inventory was taken of all intravenous (Protopam) and intramuscular (Mark I Autoinjector kits) pralidoxime available in Franklin County, Ohio hospitals, and out-of-hospital stockpiles. A method was devised to safely convert the intramuscular pralidoxime to an intravenous formulation, which was then tested for stability and sterility under a variety of environmental temperatures over time.

Results: In Franklin County, Ohio (population 1.1 million), the 10 acute care hospitals and out-of-hospital community have 36 g of intravenous pralidoxime and 4,398 g (7,270 Mark I kits) of intramuscular pralidoxime. The reformulated pralidoxime retained greater than 90% stability and remained sterile at all environmental temperatures through day 28.

Conclusion: Available pralidoxime in Franklin County is predominantly in the intramuscular preparation. Conversion of intramuscular to intravenous pralidoxime results in a stable and sterile solution for up to 28 days under a variety of environmental conditions and should be considered in a mass casualty situation in which additional intravenous supplies are needed.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antidotes / pharmacology*
  • Antidotes / supply & distribution*
  • Chemical Terrorism / prevention & control*
  • Chemical Warfare Agents / poisoning*
  • Drug Compounding / methods
  • Drug Contamination
  • Drug Stability
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous / instrumentation
  • Injections, Intramuscular / instrumentation
  • Peripheral Nervous System Agents / poisoning
  • Poisoning / prevention & control
  • Pralidoxime Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Pralidoxime Compounds / supply & distribution*


  • Antidotes
  • Chemical Warfare Agents
  • Peripheral Nervous System Agents
  • Pralidoxime Compounds
  • pralidoxime