Fat Emulsion (intravenous)

Fat emulsions are used to help patients build fat in their body following a recent surgery or illness.

Overview

Fat emulsions are used to supplement the diet of patients who are unable to get enough fat from a normal diet. This can occur as a result of a recent surgery or following certain illnesses.

The body needs to have fat because it is used as an energy source and in the creation of substances required for normal bodily functions to take place.

Fat emulsions are injected into the veins of the patient and are available only with a prescription from a doctor. They are prescribed as Clinolipid or Liosyn injections.

Condition treated

  • Fat shortage

Type Of Medicine

  • Dietary supplement

Side Effects

In addition to the desired side effects occurring from the use of fat emulsions, other unwanted side effects may also occur. While not all side effects may occur, when they do they may require that the patient seek medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

Occurring more commonly:

  • Bladder pain
  • Blood in the urine
  • Chills
  • Cloudy urine
  • Difficulty, burning or pain experienced during urination
  • Feverishness
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Lower back pain
  • Side pain
  • Soreness of the throat
  • Vomiting

Occurring only rarely:

  • Back pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Hives
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath without exertion
  • Weakness

Frequency of occurrence not known:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Changed breath odor
  • Changed frequency of urination
  • Changed skin color
  • Increased thirst
  • Rash
  • Stomach pain
  • Swollen and red lower leg
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Unusual bruising

Other side effects can also occur that are milder and would not require you to seek the attention of the doctor. If they become bothersome or are ongoing, however, then you can seek advice from your healthcare professional who may be able to help you to alleviate the side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Itchy skin
  • Nausea
  • Pain, swelling or redness at the site of injection

Side effects that have not been listed herein could also occur. If you experience other side effects then you should inform your doctor and seek medical advice.

Dosage

This medication should be administered in a hospital. A nurse or other trained medical professional will place a needle into one of your veins for administration.

In some cases this medication may be given to a patient who does not need to be in a hospital environment. In this case the patient may self-administer the treatment. The nurse or doctor will show you how to use the treatment in this case so that you can use it at home. You should not deviate from the instructions that you are given and should ensure you fully understand the process of how to use the medication before trying to administer it. If you have any questions then you should ask your doctor.

The dose of this medication given will be different for each patient and will depend on a range of factors including the patient's weight and condition. The following information is a guideline only and you should closely follow the instructions given to you by the prescribing doctor:

For use in adults and teenagers:

The dose will be based on the tolerance of the patient and the requirements of the nutrition. The doctor will calculate the dose but the initial dose given will be between 0.5-1ml/minute injected for between 15/30 minutes. The dose may be adjusted as required by the doctor.

Use in children is not recommended for this medication.

Interactions

Some medications can interact with one another in the body and can cause severe side effects. In some cases one treatment may stop another from working at all. You should inform your doctor of all other medications you are taking before use of fat emulsions to avoid interactions.

The following medications may not be compatible with fat emulsions in certain situations:

  • Vitamin B complex
  • Tobramycin
  • Tetracycline
  • Potassium chloride
  • Phenytoin
  • Penicillin
  • Methicillin
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Iron dextran
  • Gentamicin
  • Cephalothin
  • Calcium salts
  • Ampicillin
  • Aminophylline
  • Amikacin
  • Albumin

Other medications not listed herein may also cause interactions. Ensure your doctor is aware of all medications that you are taking.

The presence of other medical problems can also impact the use of fat emulsions. The use of this medication can make certain conditions worse or the conditions may increase the risk of side effects. You should make your doctor aware of all medical conditions from which you suffer. This is especially important in the following situations:

Patients with the following conditions should not receive fat emulsions:

  • Allergies to:
  • Olive oil
  • Soybean proteins
  • Eggs
  • Safflower oil
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Sever lipid metabolism disorders

The following conditions may be worsened by treatment with fat emulsions:

The following conditions should be corrected before fat emulsions are used:

  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Severe metabolic disorders

Patients with the following conditions will be at increased risk of developing problems of the pancreas:

  • Hypertriglyceridemia

The effects of fat emulsions may be increased because of slower removal from the body in patients suffering from the following:

  • Kidney disease

Other medical conditions not listed could also affect the use of this treatment. Discuss all medical conditions with your doctor before use.

Warnings

Before beginning use of fat emulsions it is important that you understand the risks of use and weigh these against the benefits of using them. This is a decision that should be made with your doctor having considered all of the following together:

Allergies 'It is vital that you inform your doctor of any allergies from which you suffer. The presence of certain allergies can prohibit the use of this treatment. Patients with allergies to olive oil, eggs, soybean proteins or safflower oil should not be treated with this medication.

During the use of this treatment an allergic reaction may occur at any time. If you notice any of the following symptoms of allergies then you should inform your doctor immediately:

  • Changed breathing
  • Difficult breathing
  • Shallow breathing
  • Increased heartrate
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Itching of the skin
  • Feverishness
  • Chills

Pediatric ' The use of this medication is not approved for use in children and the safety and efficiency of use are unknown.

Geriatric ' No known limitations occur from the use of fat emulsions in the elderly population. There is, however, an increased risk of kidney problems and other medical conditions being present that could prohibit or limit the use of this treatment.

Pregnancy ' You should inform your doctor before use of this treatment if you believe that you may be pregnant or there is a chance that you may become pregnant during use. There is a risk presented during pregnancy that should be discussed with your doctor.

Breastfeeding' No adequate studies have been carried out into the use of this medication in breastfeeding mothers. You should consider the potential risks and weigh them against the benefits of nursing your child. Discuss this with your doctor before using treatment and breastfeeding.

During use of this treatment your doctor will need to make regular checks on your health and condition. They will check for effective levels of fats weekly and will check for unwanted side effects too. The tests will require you to give blood samples in most cases.

The risk of developing infections will be increased during the use of this treatment. You should take steps to avoid getting infections and should inform your doctor immediately if you believe that you are getting an infection or are showing any signs of infection. Follow these steps to reduce your chance of developing an infection:

  • Avoid people who have an infection wherever it is possible to do so. Where you can you should avoid public spaces with heavy footfall and enclosed public spaces such as buses or trains.
  • Exercise thorough hygiene while receiving this treatment and ensure that you are washing your hands and showering regularly.
  • Ensure any cuts or abrasions are thoroughly cleaned regularly until they have healed.
  • Avoid using sharp implements that may lead to cuts or breaks of the skin.
  • Only touch your eyes, nose, ears or mouth if you have washed your hands and face immediately before doing so.

You should also be sure to inform your doctor before treatment if you have ever suffered from a persistent and returning infection.

Patients using this treatment could suffer from a rare condition called fat overload syndrome. The following symptoms should be reported to a doctor immediately:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Coughing
  • Soreness of the throat
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Unusual weakness
  • Unusual bruising

The use of fat emulsions can lead to the development of parenteral nutrition associated liver disease (PNALD). Patients who have been receiving treatment for a long time are more likely to develop this and it is more likely to occur in infants. You should check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms of this:

  • Darkened urine
  • Pale stools
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Yellowing of the eyes
  • Yellowing of the skin

You should inform your doctor if you have pain, swelling and infection occurring at the site of injection. This may need to be treated.

You should inform any other medical professionals that you interact with that you are receiving fat emulsions before having any other tests or treatments carried out. Fat emulsions may affect the results of tests or use of other medications.

You should not take any other medications in conjunction with this treatment unless they have been approved by your doctor.

Storage

Fat emulsion should be stored between 15-30°C and always below 40°C.

Medication should be prevented from freezing.

Summary

Fat emulsions are a dietary supplement given to patients who are unable to get enough fat in their diet. The body needs fat as an energy source and for the creation of substances needed in body function. Patients may not be able to get enough fat through a normal diet following surgery or illness.

This medication is injected into the vein and is usually administered in a hospital or clinic. In some cases patients may be taught how to administer it and may be able to take this treatment at home as directed by the doctor.

Patients should ensure that they understand the potential risks and side effects of use before beginning treatment with fat emulsions.