The effects of γ-radiation sterilization on the parenteral excipient l-histidine were analysed by means of EPR spectroscopy. The irradiation process was found to induce the formation of a deamination radical which was persistent in the solid state. The nature and reactivity of the radicals following dissolution in water was evaluated using spin-trapping EPR experiments. The deamination radical was found to regenerate in solution in the presence of trace metals, potentially leading to radical induced degradation reactions occurring up to an hour after the dissolution process. Understanding this process is significant for the improved design of parental pharmaceutical formulations in which unwanted radical reactions after γ-radiation sterilization could lead to degradation of active ingredients.