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Don’t Pre-Fill Those Syringes, FDA Says

People should not pre-fill one of the most widely used brand of syringe, federal officials said Tuesday, because whatever drug is in there might lose its potency.

Many sizes of Becton-Dickinson syringes – but not the popular insulin syringe with he orange cap – have a problem that can interfere with drugs or vaccines, the Food and Drug Administration says. The rubber stopper can interact with the drugs and they can lose their potency, FDA said.

The affected drugs include fentanyl, rocuronium, neostigmine, morphine, midazolam, methadone, atropine, hydromorphone, cisatracurium, and remifentanyl. But others could be affected, too, FDA says.

The warning includes 1mL, 3 mL, 5mL, 10mL, 20mL and 30mL BD syringes, and BD oral syringes.

“Hospital pharmacies and staff should contact any outsourcers to determine if affected lots of BD syringes were used for compounded or repackaged products (and) not administer compounded or repackaged drugs that have been stored in any of these syringes unless there is no suitable alternative available,” the FDA said.

"At this time, FDA does not have information on how long drugs can be stored in these syringes before degrading. There is no information to suggest that there is a problem with potency or drug degradation when medication is administered promptly after the syringes are filled."

A spokesman for the company said the alert does not pertain to BD pre-filled, prefillable, heparin flush, saline flush or insulin syringes.