Letter | Published:

Toxicity of Adrenaline

Naturevolume 155page20 (1945) | Download Citation



UNHEATED solutions of adrenaline quickly acquire a coloration if exposed to air or oxygen for a short period of time. Sodium or potassium metabisulphite has been proposed as an antioxidant for such solutions1, and the U.S. Pharmacopeia XII permits the use of reducing agents such as sodium bisulphate up to concentrations of 0·5 per cent. The effect of this substance on the toxicity of adrenaline was investigated in the United States2, and an increase of more than 100 per cent subcutaneously and more than three times intramuscularly was shown when tests were made on mammals. But no reference was made to the toxicity of adrenaline solutions containing metabisulphite after heat treatment, for example, autoclaving. These heated solutions, provided the pH is adjusted, have already been found to have lost very little activity, and to be sterile and colourless1.

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  1. 1

    Berry and West, Quart. J. Pharm., 17, 242 (1944).

  2. 2

    Richards, J. Pharmacol., 79, 111 (1943).

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  1. College of the Pharmaceutical Society, London, W,C.1.

    • G. B. WEST


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