Stability of nitroglycerin in intravenous admixtures

Am J Hosp Pharm. 1984 Feb;41(2):303-5.


The stability of nitroglycerin in intravenous admixtures was studied. Admixtures containing nitroglycerin 400 micrograms/ml and each of seven injectable drugs in concentrations used clinically were prepared in triplicate in 5% dextrose and 0.9% sodium chloride injections. Admixtures were stored in glass bottles at room temperature for 24 hours in the upright position and then for 24 hours in the inverted position to ensure contact of the solution with the rubber stopper of the container. At 0, 24, and 48 hours, samples of each admixture were assayed by high-performance liquid chromatography for nitroglycerin concentration. The pH of one randomly chosen bottle of each admixture was measured at 0, 24, and 48 hours. A significant loss of nitroglycerin potency at 48 hours was observed only in admixtures containing phenytoin; in these solutions, a 9% decrease in initial nitroglycerin concentration was noted. Phenytoin crystallization was present in all phenytoin admixtures by 24 hours. Compared with initial values, no significant differences in the pH values of any admixture samples assayed at 24 and 48 hours were noted; however, admixtures containing phenytoin had the most alkaline pH values. Under the conditions studied, nitroglycerin concentrations remained above 90% of their initial values for 48 hours in all tested admixtures; however, phenytoin crystallization limits the stability of phenytoin admixtures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Compounding
  • Drug Stability
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Nitroglycerin*


  • Drug Combinations
  • Nitroglycerin