Multidisciplinary Approach to Deciphering Etoposide Infusion Reactions and Potential Role of Polyethersulfone Filter Membranes.

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DOI: 10.5863/1551-6776-28.7.643; PMCID: PMC10681083


PURPOSE: Etoposide, a topoisomerase II inhibitor used clinically to treat cancer, has been associated with severe anaphylactic infusion related adverse drug reactions (ADRs). In a previous study we identified a hydrophilic polyethersulfone filter as a possible cause of increased rates of pediatric etoposide infusion reactions. In this multidisciplinary follow-up analytical study, we aimed to assess the chemical structure of etoposide after passing through the same hydrophilic polyethersulfone filter.

METHODS: An etoposide 0.4 mg/mL infusion was prepared under aseptic conditions and then passed through a standard IV infusion set with an in-line filter in place. Samples were taken in triplicate using a needle-less access system to include sampling sites directly from the IV bag port and from the IV tubing both before and after the in-line filter. Samples were diluted into mobile phase, then an aliquot was injected into a high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry HPLC-MS (Thermo TSQ Quantum Ultra) system coupled to a Diode Array Detector (DAD) (Thermo Dionex Ultimate 3000). Etoposide was monitored using a selected reaction monitoring scan (SRM) of 606.2/228.8 and wavelengths of 210, 220, 254, and 280 nm for 30 minutes.

RESULTS: No detectable differences were observed upon comparing the three samples. Based on these results, a chemical change in etoposide resulting from an in-line filter is unlikely to be the primary cause of increased rates of infusion reactions.

CONCLUSION: Pharmacists working in healthcare systems, observe many ADRs, but rarely have the resources necessary to investigate the potential etiology or causality. This report highlights importance of multi-disciplinary collaboration to investigate serious ADRs.

Journal Title

J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther





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Etoposide; drug-related side effects and adverse reactions; polyethersulfone filter

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