Targeted Hydrolysis of β-Lactam Antibiotics in Dry Suspension Residue : A Proposed Method to Reduce Ecological Toxicity and Bacterial Resistance

Within our therapeutic drug arsenal, antibiotics are of significant importance and are widely used in huge amounts to medicate, e.g., bacterial infections in humans and animals. Regarding the more than 10 types of antimicrobial drugs, the highly important orally taken β-lactams typically include dry suspension formulations. In many cases for this formulation, even after usage according to specification, residues remain in the prepared dry suspension bottle, which is often cleaned at home and the contents are flushed down into domestic wastewater. This plausible practice adds to the fact that, e.g., amoxicillin can be found in river waters, and is to be monitored in the EU, as given by resolution 2008/105/EG article 8b. When imported into the environment, β-lactam antibiotics can cause severe ecological problems, and equally importantly, therapeutic applications of these antibiotics are endangered by the forced development of pathogenic resistance. To avoid these issues, we developed and validated a fast, simple, robust, and cost-effective method using a 1 M sodium hydroxide solution to effectively hydrolyze and inactivate β-lactam residues. In this paper, we strongly propose a procedure involving pharmacists to take back residue of β-lactam dry suspension formulations. Subsequently, qualified pharmaceutical staff could inactivate β-lactam residue in the laboratory by the proposed method, and then dispose of the mixture into wastewater.


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