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How serious is the problem of photodegradation?

 
  1. It can be very serious.  In all cases, it is recommended that if there is any question whether the drug may be light sensitive, that a protective covering should be used.  Some hospitals routinely cover all I.V. drugs to make certain that those medications which require protection always receive it.
  2. Infusion magazine writes, “If drugs in I.V. solutions are light sensitive, they may be exposed to light for prolonged periods of time… and may be rendered ineffective.  Worse, toxic products may form and be administered to patients.” (Copy available on request.)
  3. Parenteral magazine states, “It is best to minimize exposure of all drugs to natural or artificial light.”  It is noted in this same article, and others written on the subject, that sometimes there are visible signs of degradation of a drug, and sometimes there are not. (Copy available on request.)