Background and objective: Vancomycin is often used in antibiotic infusions for hospitalized patients and it is advantageous to prepare such intravenous solutions in advance. The objective of this study was to investigate the long-term stability of this antibiotic stored at 4 degrees C in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bags.
Method: Five bags each of 0.5 or 1 g vancomycin hydrochloride per 100 ml of 5% dextrose were studied for 2 months by high-performance liquid chromatography, visual inspection and pH measurement.
Results: No colour change or precipitation was observed. The pH values of the preparations increased significantly over the period of study without influencing the antibiotic concentration. Based on a shelf-life of 90% residual potency, the vancomycin solutions were stable for at least 58 days at 4 degrees C.
Conclusion: From a chemical stability viewpoint, the antibiotic may be prepared in advance by a centralized intravenous admixture service for use within the limits described.