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Effects of Filtration on the Presence of Particulate and Oxycodone Content of Injections Prepared from Crushed OxyContin® Tablets

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 16:45 authored by Patel, PK, Rahul PatelRahul Patel, Brandon, S, Stuart McLeanStuart McLean, Raimondo BrunoRaimondo Bruno, Barbara de GraaffBarbara de Graaff
It is common for injecting drug users (IDU) to prepare injections by crushing tablets which are not designed for parental administration. The injection of insoluble tablet excipients can lead to serious local and systemic medical complications. The aim of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of various types of filters in removing harmful insoluble particles from the injections prepared using crushed oxycodone tablets. Injections were prepared from a sustained-release oxycodone tablet formulation. The filtration of tablet extracts was carried out following procedures used by IDU using makeshift filter and commercially available filters. Particulate contamination and oxycodone content were analysed using light microscopy and spectrophotometer. Unfiltered extracts contained hundreds of thousands of particles of sufficient size to cause harms. Cigarette filters removed large particles but failed to remove small particles. The combination of cigarette filter and syringe filter (0.45 ìm or 0.22 ìm) reduced the particle count by 90 - 95%. A double membrane syringe filter (0.8/0.2 ìm) removed more than 99% of the particles. Recovery of oxycodone was more than 95% with the tested syringe filters. Particulate contamination in injections prepared from crushed tablets can be effectively removed using a combination process of cigarette filter and syringe filters, or a 0.8/0.2 ìm syringe filter. Compared to other filters, the 0.8/0.2 ìm syringe filter did not block, the filtration was quick and easy to perform, and did not retain oxycodone. The use of a 0.8/0.2 ìm syringe filter can provide an important harm reduction measure for IDU.


Publication title

Current Drug Safety








School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Bentham Science Publishers Ltd

Place of publication

PO Box 294 Bussum, 1400 AG Netherlands

Rights statement

Copyright 2012 Bentham Science Publishers

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified

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