Clinical Pharmacology of Sodium Chloride Irrigation


0.9% Sodium Chloride Irrigation Solution USP is a sterile, isotonic saline solution used for a variety of clinical purposes, including the irrigation of body cavities, tissues, wounds, indwelling urethral catheters, surgical drainage tubes, and for washing surgical instruments, dressings, and laboratory specimens. It can also serve as a diluent for other drugs.

Composition and Function: This solution is isotonic and matches the composition of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection USP. It is compatible with living tissues and organs, providing essential sodium and chloride ions to maintain fluid balance, osmotic pressure, and acid-base equilibrium in the body.

Indications: 0.9% Sodium Chloride is intended for general irrigation, washing, rinsing, and dilution purposes that require a sterile, nonpyrogenic electrolyte solution.



  • For irrigation only, not for injection.
  • Can be absorbed systemically in large volumes, risking fluid overload and electrolyte imbalances.
  • Should not be warmed above 150°F (66°C).
  • Use promptly after opening to prevent bacterial contamination.
  • Discard any unused portion as it contains no preservatives.


  • Use aseptic technique during preparation and administration of irrigation solution.
  • Ensure the solution is clear and container is intact.
  • Avoid using for procedures that may result in significant fluid absorption into the bloodstream.
  • Use caution with continuous irrigation to prevent circulatory overload.

Laboratory Monitoring: Regular clinical evaluations and laboratory tests are necessary to monitor fluid balance, electrolyte concentrations, and acid-base balance, especially during prolonged irrigation or if significant fluid absorption is suspected.

Drug Interactions: Consult a pharmacist for potential incompatibilities when adding other substances. Use aseptic technique for wound care and mix thoroughly.

Use in Specific Populations:

  • Pregnancy: Only if clearly needed, as effects on fetal harm and reproduction are unknown.
  • Labor and Delivery: Safety not established; monitor fluid and electrolyte balance.
  • Nursing Mothers: Unknown if excreted in human milk; exercise caution.
  • Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness not established; use cautiously.
  • Geriatric Use: Dose cautiously, considering potential for decreased renal function and need for frequent monitoring.

Adverse Reactions: Adverse effects can be minimized with proper technique. Potential issues include infection from contamination, tissue disruption from excessive volume or pressure, and unintended irrigation of wrong structures. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue use, evaluate the patient, and take appropriate measures.

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