The stabilities of amoxicillin (16 micrograms/ml) and clavulanate (8 micrograms/ml), alone and in combination in BACTEC medium (Middlebrook 7H12B medium), were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and bioassay. By HPLC, the half-life of amoxicillin (trihydrate and sodium) in combination with clavulanate in nonradiolabelled 7H12B medium was 6.7 days, whereas the half-life of clavulanate in combination with amoxicillin was 2.0 days. By bioassay, the half-lives of amoxicillin trihydrate and clavulanate in radiolabelled 7H12B medium were comparable (7 and 2 days, respectively) to those determined by HPLC. When clavulanate was tested alone, the half-life was determined to be 1.88 days by HPLC and 1.87 days by bioassay. The relatively short half-life of clavulanate can be adjusted by a procedure of "topping up," or adding one-half the concentration of clavulanate every second day, in order to allow accurate amoxicillin-clavulanate MIC testing with the BACTEC mycobacterial susceptibility system
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