In vitro inactivation of tobramycin by cephalosporins

Am J Hosp Pharm. 1985 Nov;42(11):2506-9.


The in vitro inactivation of tobramycin when combined with each of six cephalosporins in samples of human serum was investigated. Each of six cephalosporins (cefazolin sodium, cefoxitin sodium, cefamandole nafate, moxalactam disodium, cefoperazone sodium, and cefotaxime sodium) was added to human serum samples containing tobramycin sulfate 8 micrograms/mL to produce final cephalosporin concentrations of approximately 250 and 1000 micrograms/mL. Duplicate solutions were prepared and stored at either 0 or 21 degrees C. Solutions containing tobramycin 8 micrograms/mL alone and with carbenicillin disodium in four concentrations were prepared as controls. Samples were assayed using a fluorescence polarization immunoassay (TDX) at 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, and 48 hours to determine tobramycin concentration; two of the carbenicillin-tobramycin solutions were frozen immediately for assay 53 hours later. Tobramycin concentrations in the admixtures were compared with those in tobramycin reference samples. At both temperatures, samples containing tobramycin with cefamandole 250 micrograms/mL or cefotaxime 250 micrograms/mL showed less than 10% inactivation of tobramycin for at least 48 hours. At 0 degrees C, tobramycin retained greater than 90% activity when combined with cefoperazone 250 and 1000 micrograms/mL. In samples containing cefazolin 250 micrograms/mL at 0 degrees C and cefoperazone 250 micrograms/mL at 21 degrees C, tobramycin was stable for 24 hours. Only samples containing moxalactam stored at 21 degrees C showed greater than 16% inactivation of tobramycin at 48 hours. Under these study conditions, tobramycin is only moderately inactivated in vitro when combined with clinically achievable concentrations of the tested cephalosporins (excluding moxalactam) and then stored for up to 48 hours.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cephalosporins / blood
  • Cephalosporins / pharmacology*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors
  • Tobramycin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Tobramycin / blood


  • Cephalosporins
  • Drug Combinations
  • Tobramycin