Logo - International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding

Physical and Chemical Stability of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride 1.5- and 80-mg/mL Packaged in Plastic Syringes

Author(s):  Trissel Lawrence A, Xu Quanyun A, Pham Lien

Issue:  Jan/Feb 2002 - Compounding for Pain Management and Dental Medicine
View All Articles in Issue

Abstract:  The objective of this study was to evaluate the physical and chemical stability of hydromorphone hydrochloride in concentrations of 1.5 and 80 mg/mL in 0.9% sodium chloride injection packaged in plastic syringes.

Test samples of hydromorphone hydrochloride 1.5- and 80- mg/mL solutions were packaged as 20 mL of drug solution in 30-mL plastic syringes, sealed with plastic tip caps, and stored at 4°C and 23°C for 60 days and at -20°C and 37°C (temperature extremes that might be encountered during shipping) for 2 days. Evaluations for physical and chemical stability were performed initially and throughout the storage periods. Physical stability was assessed by means of visual observation in normal room light with a high-intensity monodirectional light beam. In addition, turbidity and particle content were measured electronically. The chemical stability of the drug was evaluated by means of a stability-indicating high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) analytical technique.

All samples of hydromorphone hydrochloride remained free of visible precipitation throughout the study. Those solutions stored at 4°C, 23°C, or 37°C exhibited little or no change in measured particulate burden and haze level. Freezing the solution resulted in an increase in microparticulate content that did not redissolve when the solution was warmed to room temperature. Little or no loss of hydromorphone hydrochloride occurred in any of the samples at any storage temperature throughout the study. Hydromorphone hydrochloride concentrations were found to be 95% or greater over 60 days at both 4°C and 23°C; concentrations were greater than 97% at both -20°C and 37°C after 2 days.

Hydromorphone hydrochloride solutions at concentrations ranging from 1.5 to 80 mg/mL in 0.9% sodium chloride injection can be packaged in plastic syringes, stored, and shipped with little or no loss of drug. Freezing should be avoided.

Related Keywords: Hydromorphone hydrochloride, chemical stability of, Hydromorphone hydrochloride, physical stability of


Purchase this article for download in electronic PDF format from IJPC at for $35 at:

Search the entire IJPC archive by keyword, topic, or issue at: