Propofol, also known under the brand name of Diprivan, is a sedative used primarily in operating rooms to relax and sedate patients prior to invasive, surgical procedures. Propofol is used as a supplement to general anesthetics, although is not currently listed as a controlled substance with the same DEA regulations for drug disposal. The recommendation was made in 2010 to add propofol to the list of controlled substances as a schedule IV drug, although the safe and proper handling of propofol waste may be falling through the cracks.
Some states are taking the approach to treat propofol as a controlled substance and healthcare organizations may have their own drug disposal and drug diversion plan. You can safeguard your organization, your healthcare workers and patients by knowing the risks associated with propofol use and implementing proper control and drug disposal systems.
The Risks of Misuse and Improper Disposal
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), reports in Volume 85, No. 6, the December 2017 issue of the AANA Journal, that propofol makes up 41% of reported cases of substance abuse among anesthesia providers. Health organizations are taking notice of the risks associated with the misuse and improper handling of propofol waste, which include:
- An increase in the instances of propofol addiction at an alarming rate of fivefold over the last ten years.
- Easy access by health care workers makes them more prone to drug diversion and addiction
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) have environmental concerns regarding pouring propofol into the sink
- CRNAs have limited access to sinks in the operating rooms
Although propofol is a pharmaceutical drug that is most commonly wasted in the OR, many hospitals do not have a secure disposal container as they do for controlled substances. The AANA reports that implementing a drug disposal system with an easily accessible pharmaceutical waste container significantly decreased the instance of propofol misuse and improper disposal.
Improvements with Proper Handling of Propofol Waste
The AANA conducted an evidence based practice project at a large, Midwestern teaching facility to address the proper handling of propofol waste. By implementing a fast acting, disposal container in each operating room, the practice of sink disposal decreased significantly and the percentage of unemptied vials of propofol that remained in unsecured bins decreased to 3.4% from 25.8%. The new method replaced sink disposal and provided a more convenient method of propofol disposal.
Rx Destroyer™ Provides Propofol Disposal Solutions
Rx Destroyer™ works with hospitals and healthcare facilities to establish safe and easy drug disposal solutions systemwide including in operating rooms. Our chemical drug destruction meets DEA “non-retrievable” standards and exceeds pharmaceutical waste disposal regulations in most states. We work with many hospitals, pharmacies, long term care facilities and other institutions for quick and seamless facility implementation.
Our patented drug disposal formula is available in a wide range of convenient containers for safe, easy and affordable drug disposal. With Rx Destroyer™, there is no need to add water, just load unused medication into the bottle and gently shake. We are dedicated to saving water and saving lives, one prescription at a time.
Rx Destroyer™ provides safe, easy and affordable drug disposal solutions with our patented, fast-acting formula. Our experts provide seamless facility implementation with drug disposal solutions meeting EPA and DEA regulations. Contact us to learn more about our easy to use, eco-friendly drug disposal solutions and the proper handling of propofol waste.