Quality assessment of fluconazole capsules and oral suspensions compounded by pharmacies located in the United States.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate pharmaceutical characteristics (strength or concentration, accuracy, and precision), physical properties, and bacterial contamination of fluconazole compounded products. SAMPLE Fluconazole compounded products (30- and 240-mg capsules; 30- and 100-mg/mL oral suspensions) from 4 US veterinary compounding pharmacies. PROCEDURES Fluconazole compounded products were ordered 3 times from each of 4 pharmacies at 7- or 10-day intervals. Generic fluconazole products (50- and 200-mg tablets; 10- and 40-mg/mL oral suspensions) served as references. Compounded products were evaluated at the time of receipt; suspensions also were evaluated 3 months later and at beyond-use dates. Evaluations included assessments of strength (concentration), accuracy, precision, physical properties, and bacterial contamination. Acceptable accuracy was defined as within ± 10% of the labeled strength (concentration) and acceptable precision as within ± 10%. Fluconazole was quantified by use of high-performance liquid chromatography. RESULTS Physical characteristics of compounded products differed among pharmacies. Aerobic bacterial cultures yielded negative results. Capsules (30 and 240 mg) had acceptable accuracy (median, 96.3%; range, 87.3% to 135.2%) and precision (mean ± SD, 7.4 ± 6.0%). Suspensions (30 and 100 mg/mL) had poor accuracy (median, 73.8%; range, 53.9% to 95.2%) and precision (mean ± SD, 15.0 ± 6.9%). Accuracy and precision were significantly better for capsules than for suspensions. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Fluconazole compounded products, particularly suspensions, differed in pharmaceutical and physical qualities. Studies to evaluate the impact of inconsistent quality on bioavailability or clinical efficacy of compounded fluconazole products are indicated, and each study should include data on the quality of the compounded product evaluated.