How long are medications good after being drawn up in syringe?

  1. I am a new employee in an ASC - Mohs Surgery (skin cancer). We draw up the lido w/epi, bicarb & clindamycin into 3ml syringes and date them for expiration 2 weeks from being drawn up. Then, they also date it for another week out if the 2 week date comes and the syringe has not been used. At another derm office I worked in, they were only "good" for 1 week.

    When I asked why they aren't just dated with a 3 week expiration, I got the standard "That's the way it's always been done". AUGHHH!!!

    Does any one know how long a medication can be in a syringe?

  2. Visit gobux90 profile page

    About gobux90, RN

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 19; Likes: 17
    Hospice RN - GIP
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience


  3. by   newrnltc
    I've seen this in several places I've worked. In fast paced areas with high pt turn around I believe that most drawn up meds would be used within the week. As long as staff checks expiration dates before drawing up meds and do not draw up a bunch at once there should be no expired products in the syringe you pick up. I also hope they are well versed in the proper techniques to prevent contamination. However, for the final word it sounds like we need to do a literature review!
  4. by   mohs rn
    I work in MOHS surgery as well. In our office we usually go through 5 50ml bottles of Lido a week. Personally I would never use a med more ten 2 weeks old
  5. by   littlekaneRN
    At my derm office we keep syringes for 1 week after drawing up lido w/ epi. We don't use clinda though so can't comment on that. We had an OSHA inspector come in and afterwards we limited use to 1 week. I don't know if it was his suggestion or just prompted a definite time limit on them, we used to use them until gone which didn't last long when you numb all day long!
  6. by   chare
    At my facility, if medications in syringes were prepare by the pharmacy they, they typically expire 24 hours after preparation. Some medications, however, depending upon sterility and/or stability issues might expire in considerably less time.

    Medication syringes prepared by nursing expire one hour after preparation.

    This question is best asked of your pharmacist.
  7. by   PTKChic
    We're instructed to throw anything out if it hasn't been used within that shift. There should be something in your clinic protocol written down.