Hospital pharmacy and emergency department availability of parenteral pyridoxine.
OBJECTIVES: Pyridoxine is a recommended antidote that should be available in emergency departments (EDs). A pediatric use of this preparation is the treatment of acute seizures secondary to pyridoxine dependency or responsiveness. Two cases of children with pyridoxine-dependent and pyridoxine-responsive seizures whose treatment was affected by the unavailability of pyridoxine in local EDs are presented. These cases prompted the development of a survey to ascertain the availability of parenteral pyridoxine in the pharmacies and EDs of both children's and general hospitals in the United States. METHODS: A survey of 203 pharmacy directors in 100 pediatric hospitals (42 self-governing and 58 within a hospital) and 103 general hospitals was conducted. The questionnaire asked for the number of licensed beds and whether injectable pyridoxine was on the formulary and stocked by the ED. RESULTS: The overall response rate was 73% (83% pediatric and 64% general hospitals). Injectable pyridoxine was on the formulary of 99% of pediatric hospitals and 91% of general hospitals (P = 0.044). Of those hospitals that had pyridoxine on the formulary, the availability of injectable pyridoxine in EDs was low in both pediatric (20.7%) and general hospitals (16.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Given the number of possible uses of parenteral pyridoxine in the ED, it is suggested that there is a case for all pediatric and general hospital pharmacies to have it on the formulary and further for all EDs in these hospitals to have injectable pyridoxine available for immediate use.
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