The development of OPAT (Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy) services and other outpatient intravenous therapies has been rapid over recent years and there are many models of service development. It is likely that these services will continue to develop in order to reduce the burden on hospital beds and to improve quality of care and patient outcomes.
The pharmaceutical aspects of these services have not always been considered, this document aims to address some of these issues to ensure that the services provide safe and efficacious treatments which fully meet with patient needs.
The areas covered include considerations for drug stability particularly considering the temperatures during extended infusion times. Related to this there is guidance for patients on how to handle their infusers during storage and during the infusion period to prevent the product being subject to excessive temperatures.
There is also discussion on the use of buffers to stabilise certain drugs and considerations for ensuring mixing of drug and diluent, if this is carried out within the device.