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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Long-Term Stability of Tramadol and Ketamine Solutions for Patient-Controlled Analgesia Delivery

Junfeng Gu, Wengang Qin, Fuchao Chen, Zhongyuan Xia

Department of Anesthesiology, enmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:2528-2534

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894066

Available online: 2015-08-26

Published: 2015-08-26


BACKGROUND: Subanesthetic doses of ketamine as an adjuvant to tramadol in patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) for postoperative pain have been shown to improve the quality of analgesia. However, there are no such commercially available drug mixtures, and the stability of the combination has rarely been assessed.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Admixtures were assessed for periods of up to 14 days at 4°C and 25°C. Three different mixtures of tramadol and ketamine (tramadol 5.0 mg/mL + ketamine 0.5 mg/mL, tramadol 5.0 mg/mL + ketamine 1.0 mg/mL, and tramadol 5.0 mg/mL + ketamine 2.0 mg/mL) were prepared in polyolefin bags by combining these 2 drugs with 0.9% sodium chloride (normal saline [NS]). The chemical stability of the admixtures was evaluated by a validated high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method and by measurement of pH values. Solution appearance and color were assessed by observing the samples against black and white backgrounds. Solutions were considered stable if they maintained 90% of the initial concentration of each drug.
RESULTS: The percentages of initial concentration of tramadol and ketamine in the various solutions remained above 98% when stored at 4°C or 25°C over the testing period. No changes in color or turbidity were observed in any of the prepared solutions. Throughout this period, pH values remained stable.
CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that the drug mixtures of tramadol with ketamine in NS for PCA delivery systems were stable for 14 days when stored in polyolefin bags at 4°C or 25°C.

Keywords: Analgesics - chemistry, Analgesia, Patient-Controlled - methods, Analgesics, Opioid - chemistry, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Drug Combinations, Drug Packaging, Drug Stability, Drug Storage, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Ketamine - chemistry, Pharmaceutical Solutions - chemistry, Polyenes, Time Factors, Tramadol - chemistry