The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting healthcare professionals not to use drugs having been previously stored in 3ml or 5ml Becton-Dickinson (BD) syringes if an alternate option is available. Drugs stored in these syringes may lose their potency over time because of a possible interaction with the rubber stopper in the syringe. It should also be known that BD’s 10ml, 20ml, and 30ml syringes could contain the same similar rubber stopper. Becton-Dickinson is warning all users these syringes should not be used to administer compounded or repackaged drugs to patients.
It is recommended to check your supply and remove all drugs stored in these syringes, which have the BD logo at the base of the syringe. It is not known how long these drugs can be stored before they begin to lose potency; however, they don’t believe there is an issue using these syringes if the drugs are administered to the patient in a timely fashion.
The FDA has received many reports of drugs like fentanyl, morphine, methadone and atropine losing their potency when they were stored in the BD 3ml and 5ml syringes. These devices were not approved by the FDA to be storage system for the drugs but rather for general purpose fluid aspiration or injection.
The FDA asks healthcare professionals and patients to list any adverse side effects or events related to the use of these syringes to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program by logging on to their website and filling out the online form or requesting a form by calling 1-800-332-1088 and return the completed form by mail or fax.