The Effect of Paraldehyde on Intravenous Tubing Sets

Luke E. Schallinger, Donald L. Uden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Paraldehyde is used in the treatment of status epilepticus, alcohol withdrawal, and delerium tremens. Because it is a solvent, concerns have been raised about infusing it through plastic intravenous tubing sets. In a three‐phase study, 4% paraldehyde in 5% dextrose solution was analyzed over 24 hours for photodegradation, adsorption to polyvinylchloride‐ (PVC) and polyethylene‐ (PE) lined intravenous tubing, and the presence of di(2‐ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Paraldehyde and DEHP samples were quantified by gas chromatography, and DEHP was confirmed by mass spectral analysis. On exposure to light for 24 hours, the concentration of paraldehyde decreased from 100 to 97%. This decrease is statistically significant but clinically insignificant. A 24‐hour continuous infusion of paraldehyde through the two types of tubing revealed a decrease in concentration attributable to adsorption of 4% with PE and 13% with PVC tubing at 2 hours. In addition, there was no appreciable leaching of DEHP over 24 hours with either type of tubing. Concerns about paraldehyde's light instability and effects on tubing integrity appear to be unwarranted with commercially available intravenous administration sets. 1989 Pharmacotherapy Publications Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-385
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989


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