Compatibility of antineoplastic, antibiotic and corticosteroid drugs in intravenous admixtures

Am J Hosp Pharm. 1976 Oct;33(10):1010-3.


Through the use of absorption spectroscopy and visual observations, the compatibility of selected oncologic, antibiotic and corticosteroid drugs in intravenous admixtures was determined. The six drugs used in this study were methotrexate sodium, prednisolone sodium phosphate, sodium cephalothin, 5-fluorouracil, cytarabine and vincristine sulfate. These were cross-matched in pairs, using 5% dextrose injection as the vehicle. By obtaining the ultraviolet absorption spectrum of each of the drugs alone in the 5% dextrose injection, reference of standard spectra were obtained which could be used as a comparison for the spectra of the drugs in admixture. This comparison permitted detection of any alterations in the spectrum which would suggest chemical (nonvisual) incompatibility. Of the 13 combinations examined, four pairs appeared to be chemically incompatible. These were: 5-fluorouracil and methotrexate sodium; 5-fluorouracil and cytarabine; prednisolone sodium phosphate and methotrexate sodium; and methotrexate sodium and cytarabine.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones* / analysis
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / analysis
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / analysis
  • Cytarabine / analysis
  • Drug Incompatibility
  • Fluorouracil / analysis
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Methotrexate / analysis
  • Prednisolone / analysis
  • Vincristine / analysis


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cytarabine
  • Vincristine
  • Prednisolone
  • Fluorouracil
  • Methotrexate