Physical compatibility of total parenteral nutrition and drugs in Y-site administration to children from neonates to adolescents

J Pharm Pharmacol. 2017 Apr;69(4):448-462. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12647. Epub 2016 Oct 7.


Objectives: Infusion of precipitate or destabilized emulsion can be harmful. The purpose of this study was to obtain Y-site compatibility data on intravenous drugs and total parenteral nutrition (TPN) relevant for children.

Methods: Two three-in-one TPN admixtures (Olimel N5E and Numeta G16E) used for children of different age groups were tested with ten drugs (ampicillin, ceftazidime, clindamycin, dexamethasone, fluconazole, fosphenytoin, furosemide, metronidazole, ondansetron and paracetamol). Drug : TPN ratios were estimated from a wide range of age and weight classes, and the most extreme mixing ratios (drug > TPN, TPN > drug) in addition to 1 + 1 were chosen. Assessment of potential precipitation was performed by subvisual particle counting, visual examinations and measurements of turbidity and pH. Emulsion stability was investigated by estimation of percentage of droplets above 5 μm (PFAT5), mean droplet diameter and pH measurements. Complimentary theoretical evaluations were performed.

Key findings: Ampicillin, fosphenytoin and furosemide precipitated when mixed with TPN. The results for ceftazidime, clindamycin, dexamethasone, fluconazole, metronidazole, ondansetron and paracetamol suggest that they were compatible with either TPN in the tested concentrations. None of the drugs were found to destabilize the emulsions.

Conclusion: Three drugs showed clear signs of precipitation when mixed with TPN and these products should not be co-administered in the same infusion line.

Keywords: PFAT5; droplet size; emulsion stability; parallel infusion; precipitation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Interactions / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infusions, Intravenous / methods
  • Parenteral Nutrition, Total / methods*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry*


  • Drug Combinations
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations