Clinical Q & A: Which oral solid medications should be protected from light and/or moisture?

May 12, 2008

Using research from several sources, the authors have compiled a table listing the drugs that are sensitive to light and moisture

Recently, the International Drug Information Center (IDIC) of the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Long Island University, received an inquiry from a consulting firm that provides services to a pharmacy that prepares unit-dose packaged medications for institutional use. The consultant requested a list of light-sensitive and moisture-sensitive prescription oral solid dosage forms. After searching the literature (tertiary references, MEDLINE, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, Internet), we failed to identify such a list. We therefore proceeded to compile our own list of these medications. The list was compiled by using Facts and Comparisons 4.0, available at www.factsandcom, and the online Physicians' Desk Reference, available at, using the Advanced Search functions. These databases are restricted databases, but are available at the IDIC. The search was performed using the term "light" and was then repeated with the term "moisture." The search yielded an extensive list of drug monographs, with each monograph bearing at least one of the search terms. Each monograph was then analyzed to determine whether it states that the medication necessitates protection from light or moisture, or is light- or moisture-sensitive. The compilation consists of 300 medications, of which 233 are light-sensitive and 146 are moisture-sensitive.

The authors extend their gratitude to Alex Antonopoulos, Pharm.D. candidate; Raghavendra Chede, Ph.D. candidate; Karina Muzykovsky, Pharm.D. candidate; and Maitri Trivedi, Ph.D. candidate, for their assistance in preparing this list.

Click here to download a .pdf document with a complete, printable list. LightandMoisture.pdf