The effect of various environmental factors on the stability of aqueous solutions of amoxicillin-clavulanic acid combination in a veterinary water-soluble powder product was investigated. In the swine industry, the combination is administered via the drinking water, where both substances are quickly decomposed depending on several environmental factors. The degradation rate of the substances was determined in solutions of different water hardness levels (German hardness of 2, 6 and 10) and pH values (3.0, 7.0 and 10.0), and in troughs made of different materials (metal or plastic). Increasing the water hardness decreased the stability of both substances, amoxicillin being more stable at each hardness value than clavulanate. Amoxicillin trihydrate proved to be most stable at an acidic pH, while increasing the pH decreased its stability (P < 0.05). Maximum stability of potassium clavulanate was experienced at neutral pH, while its decomposition rate was significantly higher at acidic and alkaline pH values (P < 0.01). The stability of the amoxicillin-clavulanic acid combination depends mainly on the less stable clavulanate, although the effect of metallic ions significantly increased the decomposition rate of amoxicillin, rendering it less stable in metal troughs than clavulanate (P < 0.05). Therefore, the amoxicillin-clavulanic acid combination should be administered to the animals in soft water, at neutral pH and in plastic troughs.
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