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Title: Toxic additives in medication for preterm infants
Authors: Whittaker, Amy
Currie, Andrew E.
Turner, Mark A.
Field, David J.
Mulla, Hussain
Pandya, Hitesh C.
First Published: 1-Jul-2009
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Citation: Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 2009, 94 (4), pp. F236-F240.
Abstract: Background: Little is known about exposure of preterm infants to excipients during routine clinical care. Objective: To document excipient exposure in vulnerable preterm babies in a single centre, taking into account chronic lung disease (CLD) as a marker of illness severity. Design: Excipient exposure after treatment with eight oral liquid medications was determined by retrospectively analysing the drug charts of infants admitted to a neonatal unit. Setting: The Leicester Neonatal Service. Participants: 38 infants born between June 2005 and July 2006 who were less than 30 weeks’ gestation and 1500 g in weight at birth and managed in Leicester to discharge. Results: The 38 infants represented 53% of the eligible target group; 7/38 infants had CLD. During their in-patient stay, infants were exposed to over 20 excipients including ethanol and propylene glycol, chemicals associated with neurotoxicity. Infants with CLD were exposed to higher concentrations of these toxins. Infants were also exposed to high concentrations of sorbitol, with some infants being exposed to concentrations in excess of recommended guidelines for maximum exposure in adults. Conclusions: Preterm infants are commonly exposed to excipients, some of which are potentially toxic. Strategies aimed at reducing excipient load in preterm infants are urgently required
DOI Link: 10.1136/adc.2008.146035
ISSN: 1359-2998
Type: Article
Rights: This is the author's final draft of the paper published as Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 2009, 94 (4), pp. F236-F240. This article has been accepted for publication in ADC following peer review. The definitive copyedited, typeset version is available online at :, Doi: 10.1136/adc.2008.146035
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

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