New Study Could Help Women at Risk after Childbirth. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 015 (1993)
(1993; 1 page)


The World Health Organization’s Action Programme on Essential Drugs, its Safe Motherhood Research Programme and the International Dispensary Association conducted a study on how storage affected the stability of three injectable post-partum haemorrhage drugs. The study measured how ergometrine, methylergometrine and oxytocin were affected by long-term dark storage at 25° and 30° C and short-term exposure to higher temperatures and light. Oxytocin was found to be more stable than ergometrine and methylergometrine, because it was not negatively affected by exposure to light and various temperatures. Ergometrine and methylergometrine are equal in stability but certain brands of the drugs differ. The color of solution strongly correlated to the amount of active ingredient. It was recommended that all three drugs should be stored with refrigeration, and ergometrine and methylergometrine should be marked “protect from light”. Furthermore, the three drugs should be purchased from a reputable supplier, tested and checked for the color of the solution. If possible, the amount of active ingredient should also be tested.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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