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Hydroxyethyl Starch

CMI, dosage, igredients, description, price, photo

What is Volulyte used for

Volulyte is an infusion solution containing an artificial starch.

Due to limited availability, blood and blood containing products are not always used to replace fluid losses and are only used where absolutely essential. Smaller fluid losses are now replaced using “artificial” solutions called plasma substitutes or volume replacement fluids. Volulyte is one of these solutions.

It may be necessary to maintain your circulating blood volume for example, during operation, or if you had suffered a burn or trauma.

Before you are given Volulyte

You must NOT use this product if:

  • You have too much fluid in your body and you have been told that you have a condition known as hyperhydration
  • You have been told that you have pulmonary edema where too much fluid is in your lungs
  • You have been told that you have a congestive heart failure (a condition in which your heart cannot pump enough blood to other organs of your body)
  • You have kidney failure and you produce little or no urine and if this is not caused by low blood volumes (hypovolemia)
  • You are receiving dialysis treatment (an artificial kidney treatment)
  • You suffer from bleeding within or around the brain (intracranial bleeding)
  • You are allergic (hypersensitive) to hydroxyethyl starch or any of the other ingredients.

Your doctor may need to take special precautions and will decide whether you can receive Volulyte if you suffer from:

  • problems with your heart or kidneys as there is an increased risk of fluid overload with the use of Volulyte
  • a severe lack of fluid (dehydration). In this case your doctor should administer a salt solution first
  • increased potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride or alkaline levels in your blood (hyperkalaemia, hypernatraemia, hypermagnesaemia, hyperchloraemia)
  • severe liver disease or severe bleeding disorders, e.g. severe cases of von Willebrand’s disease
  • have a severe blood infection

Special care has to be taken while this product is given to you. Infusion of large quantities of plasma substitutes may cause too much dilution of blood components or blood clotting factors and blood samples may be taken to check this.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.

The safety of the product in pregnant and breast-feeding women has not been investigated. Your doctor will only give Volulyte after having weighed the benefits versus the potential risk to the baby.

How Volulyte is given

How much will be given

Your doctor will determine the amount of Volulyte that is appropriate for you.

How is it given

Volulyte should be administered by continuous drip into the vein using a sterile tubing and needle. It should only be administered to you by qualified medical staff. You will be kept under close observation by a health professional at the beginning of Volulyte infusion to ensure that you do not have an allergic reaction as all plasma substitutes carry a slight risk of allergic reactions that can be mild or severe.

If you are given too much (overdose)

This rarely happens as Volulyte is usually administered under the care of a trained health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Your doctor has information on how to recognise and treat an overdose. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns.

Otherwise immediately telephone your doctor or contact the Poisons Information Centre in your country.
Australia: 13 11 26
New Zealand: 0800 764 766.

Side Effects

Like all medicines, Volulyte can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or nursing staff immediately:

Rare (occurring in more than 1 in 10,000 patients, but less than 1 in 1,000 patients)

  • Medicinal products containing hydroxyethyl starch may lead to severe allergic reactions (reddening of the skin, swelling of the throat, and difficult breathing, mild influenza like symptoms, low or high heart rate, fluid in the lungs not caused by heart problems).
  • After administration of hydroxyethyl starch disturbances of blood clotting can occur depending on the dose.

Common (occurring in more than 1 in 100 patients, but less than 1 in 10 patients)

  • Itching is a known side effect of hydroxyethyl starches when used over long periods of time and at high doses.
  • Other effects are associated with the dilution of the blood and its components, which occurs at high dosages, such as prolonged blood clotting time.
  • The level of the enzyme serum amylase can rise during administration of hydroxyethyl starch and can interfere with the diagnosis of inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis); however, hydroxyethyl starch does not cause pancreatitis. However, Volulyte does not cause pancreatitis.

If you have any unexpected effects after receiving Volulyte, or you feel unwell during treatment, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Volulyte should be stored below 25°C and not be frozen. As with any medicine, Volulyte should be stored out of the reach of children. Do not use injections that have been used, have expired or the container is damaged.

Product Description

What it looks like

Volulyte (6%) is a clear to slightly opalescent, colourless to slightly yellow solution which comes in a plastic bag.


Volulyte contains hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 in a balanced electrolyte solution.

Volulyte contains the active ingredients

  • Hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4,
  • Sodium chloride,
  • Sodium acetate trihydrate,
  • Potassium chloride and
  • Magnesium chloride.

It also contains other inactive ingredients such as

  • hydrochloric acid,
  • sodium hydroxide and
  • water for injections.

Volulyte does not contain gluten, lactose, sucrose, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.

Volulyte does not contain any preservative.

Volulyte comes in 2 different sizes of plastic (freeflex®) bag. They can be identified by the following AUST R numbers:

  • freeflex® bags 250 mL AUST R 172173
  • freeflex® bags 500 mL AUST R 187473

Further Information

More detailed information is available from your doctor or pharmacist. Therefore, if you have any concerns about the information or about Volulyte please ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: This information may not be actual at the time of reading. Always look for actual instructions in the package with the medication.
It is forbidden to use these materials without the advice of healthcare professional.

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