Physical Compatibility of Calcium Chloride and Sodium Glycerophosphate in Pediatric Parenteral Nutrition Solutions

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Background: Calcium and phosphate precipitation is an ongoing concern when compounding pediatric parenteral nutrition (PN) solutions. Considerable effort has been expended in producing graphs, tables, and equations to guide the practitioner in prescribing PN that will remain stable. Calcium gluconate is preferred over calcium chloride when compounding PN because of its superior compatibility with inorganic phosphates. PN solutions containing calcium gluconate carry a higher aluminum load than equivalent solutions compounded with calcium chloride, leading to increased potential for aluminum toxicity. This study tested the solubility of calcium chloride in PN solutions compounded with an organic phosphate component, sodium glycerophosphate (NaGP), in place of sodium phosphate. Methods: Five PN solutions were compounded by adding calcium chloride at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 mEq/L and corresponding concentrations of NaGP at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 mmol/L. Each of the 5 solutions was compounded using 1.5% and 4% amino acids, cysteine, and lipids. The physical stability was evaluated by visual inspection (precipitation, haze, and color change). Solutions were evaluated microscopically for any microcrystals using U.S. Pharmacopeia <788> standards. Results: Compatibility testing showed no changes in the PN solution in any of the concentrations tested. Calcium chloride was found to be physically compatible with NaGP in PN at the tested concentrations. Conclusion: Utilization of NaGP in PN solutions would eliminate the need for precipitation curves and allow for the use of calcium chloride. Compounding with NaGP and calcium chloride allows the practitioner a mechanism for reducing the aluminum load in PN.

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