Stability of succinylcholine chloride injection

Am J Hosp Pharm. 1991 Mar;48(3):501-6.


The stability of succinylcholine chloride injection prepared by a hospital pharmacy was studied under a wide variety of conditions. Batches of succinylcholine chloride injection 10 mg/mL containing sodium chloride, methyl-4-hydroxybenzoate, hydrochloric acid, and water were prepared. Samples were tested for the effect of initial pH (3.0 and 4.2) and sterilization (steam treatment at 100 degrees C for 30 minutes and 121 degrees C for 20 minutes) on stability after three weeks; long-term stability under refrigeration (12, 17, and 23 months of storage at 4 degrees C); and the effect of storage temperature (4-6 degrees C, 20-26 degrees C, 35 degrees C, and 70 degrees C) and light exposure at various intervals up to 12 months. Samples were analyzed by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Unlike heating at 121 degrees C, heating at 100 degrees C produced no significant loss of succinylcholine chloride, independent of the initial pH. Succinylcholine chloride was hydrolyzed only minimally over 23 months if the solution was stored at 4-6 degrees C. A 10% loss of drug content occurred if solutions were kept at 20-26 degrees C for five months, at 35 degrees C for one month, or at 70 degrees C for one day. Initial degradation was slowed if the solution was protected from light. The assessments by TLC proved to be more sensitive than the HPLC measurements. Succinylcholine chloride injection sterilized at 100 degrees C for 30 minutes can be stored for up to five months at room temperature if protected from light. The preparation is stable for at least two years under refrigeration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Drug Stability
  • Humans
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital
  • Refrigeration
  • Sterilization
  • Succinylcholine / chemistry*
  • Succinylcholine / pharmacology


  • Succinylcholine