Physical compatibility of Normosol-R with critical care medications used in patients with COVID-19 during simulated Y-site administration

Amanda A. Holyk, Alexandra H. Lindner, Scott E. Lindner, Brian W. Shippert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Guidelines from the National Institutes of Health support the use of balanced crystalloid solutions such as Normosol-R (Hospira, Lake Forest, IL) for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, their clinical utility is hindered by a lack of Y-site compatibility data that is essential for use in patients with limited intravenous access. The objective of this study was to determine the physical compatibility of selected intensive care unit medications with Normosol-R. Methods: The study involved laboratory simulation of Y-site compatibility. Medications tested included amiodarone, caspofungin, dexmedetomidine, dobutamine, dopamine, epinephrine, levofloxacin, norepinephrine, pantoprazole, phenylephrine, piperacillin/tazobactam, vancomycin, and vasopressin. Tests performed were visual assessment with Tyndall light, turbidity measurement, and pH assessment. Tests were performed immediately after mixing (with the exception of turbidity testing) and after 1 hour and 4 hours. Results: Incompatibility was defined as observation of haze, gas, particulate, or color change or admixture turbidity above 0.3 or above 0.5 nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU), depending on whether the baseline turbidity was less than or greater than 0.5 NTU, respectively. Analysis of solubility and compatibility based on change from baseline to admixture pH in relation to the reported -log of the acid dissociation constant (pKa) was performed. There was no evidence of visual incompatibility for any of the admixtures when mixed with Normosol-R. Turbidity exceeded the defined threshold with pantoprazole, phenylephrine, and highly concentrated norepinephrine. Pantoprazole was the only test medication with a significant pH change when compared to its pKa. Conclusion: Normosol-R is compatible for Y-site administration with all tested medications except for pantoprazole, phenylephrine, and highly concentrated norepinephrine, allowing for potential increased use in patients with COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E27-E33
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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