Information on compatibility of nutrients and drugs with parenteral nutrient (PN) solutions is reviewed and evaluated. Precipitation of calcium phosphate when calcium and phosphate salts are added can be affected by pH, amino acid concentration, amino acid product, temperature, sequence of additives, specific salt used, and time since admixture; precipitate formation can occur gradually over 24 hours. Insulin is chemically stable in PN solutions, but adsorption to the infusion system can cause decreased availability. Poor delivery of vitamin A via PN solutions has been reported. The sodium bisulfite content of amino acid injections may cause degradation of thiamine, but studies simulating clinical use are needed. Folic acid stability in PN solutions has been demonstrated, and phytonadione appears to be stable. Drug administration via PN solutions may be advantageous when fluid intake is restricted or peripheral vein access is limited and in home PN therapy. Summarized are results of studies involving heparin, cimetidine hydrochloride, aminophylline, amphotericin B, iron dextran, hydrochloric acid, corticosteroids, narcotics, metoclopramide, digoxin, and fluorouracil. Many antibiotics are probably stable, especially when administered by co-infusion rather than by direct mixture in the PN solution container. When lipids are mixed in the same container with amino acid-dextrose solutions, compatibility and stability of electrolytes, vitamins, and trace elements must be reassessed. Practical research is needed, and availability of additives should be studied in specific patient populations and for specific PN formulations. Valid conclusions are dependent on careful study design.