MISCO Refractometer Q&A Forum
Find answers to many common questions concerning applications, operation, calibration, and maintenance of refractometers:
I am looking at ordering a Palm Abbe Digital Refractometer to use to test for drug diversion in our hospital. Which of the three models would you recommend? I would like to use it to test mainly for Fentanyl, Morphine, Meperidine & midazolam. Thank you.
A refractometer has become an essential tool in the fight to prevent the theft or diversion of injectable drugs. The Palm Abbe PA202 is probably the best choice for testing injectable narcotics. It has both Brix and refractive index scales against which drugs may be standardized. A refractometer can be used in the central pharmacy, satellite pharmacies, surgical units, and nursing units. They are equally useful to pharmacists, nursing supervisors and security personnel or drug diversion investigators. Letting hospital staff members know that drugs are under surveillance, and that they will be tested when returned, will also have preventative effect.
I am looking for a chart of what the medication should show up as on the brix scale. I want to use the Palm abbe digital refractometer mostly for Fentanyl, midazolam, morphine pf, ketamine, morphine, meperidine, sufentanil, and astramorph. If you know of where I can find this information that would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your question. There is no standard chart of Brix or refractive index value of injectable narcotics as measured by refractometer. The reason is that there are small variations between lots and also between manufacturers. The best method is to characterize each of the fluids that you commonly use yourself to create a uniform control standard (reference measurements). All future measurements of the reference drugs can then be compared to your control standards.