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Table 4 Most commonly prescribed medicines (received by >10 patients) containing known to be harmful or potentially harmful excipients

From: Hospitalised neonates in Estonia commonly receive potentially harmful excipients

Rank Active substance, drug formulation No of prescriptions Potentially harmful or known to be harmful excipients
1 Gentamicin, inj solution 200 Parabens, sodium metabisulphite
2 Simeticone, oral suspension 108 Sodium benzoate, saccharin sodium, silicium dioxide, sodium cyclamate, sorbic acid
3 Heparin, inj solution 86 Benzyl alcohol, parabens
4 Laurilsulphate + Sorbitol + Sodium citrate, rectal solution 60 Sorbic acid
5 Salbutamol, nebulisation solution 54 Benzalkonium chloride, propylene glycol
6 Dobutamine, inj solution 45 Sodium metabisulphite
7 Epinephrine, inj solution 36 Sodium metabisulphite
8 Iron, oral solution 32 Parabens, saccharin sodium
9 Budesonide, nebulisation solution 31 Polysorbate 80, disodiumedetate
10 Chloramphenicol, opthalmic solution 29 Benzalkonium chloride, polysorbate 80, borax, boric acid
11 Caffeine, solution 29 Sodium benzoate
12 Phenobarbital, tablet 29 Silicium dioxide, gelatin
13 Paracetamol, suppository 29 Disodium hydrogen phosphate
14 Piperacillin + tazobactam, inj solution 25 Disodium edetate
15 Paracetamol, inj solution 24 Disodium hydrogen phosphate
16 Hydrocortisone, inj solution 23 Benzyl alcohol, disodium hydrogen phosphate
17 Epoetin beta, inj solution 22 Disodium hydrogen phosphate, glycine, calcium chloride dihydrate, leucine,
18 Ibuprofen, inj solution 21 Trometamol
19 Hyoscine butylbromide, tablet 20 Silicium dioxide
20 Spironolactone, tablet 18 Silicium dioxide
21 Zidovudine, oral solution 17 Sodium benzoate, saccharin sodium
22 Fusidic acid, ophthalmic solution 16 Benzalkonium chloride, disodium edetate
23 Morphine, inj solution 14 Sodium metabisulphite
24 Phenobarbital, inj solution 13 Benzyl alcohol, propylene glycol
25 Heparin sodium, topical gel 12 Parabens, ethanol, trietanolamine,
26 Insulin, inj solution 11 Cresol
  1. Inj - injection.