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Back to Drug index

Back to Caloric Agents

Name: Fat emulsion

Pregnancy Category C

Drug classes

  • Caloric agent

Therapeutic actions

A preparation from soybean or safflower oil that provides neutral triglycerides, mostly unsaturated fatty acids; these are used as a source of energy, causing an increase in heat production, decrease in respiratory quotient, and increase in oxygen consumption.


  • Source of calories and essential fatty acids for patients requiring parental nutrition for extended periods
  • Source of essential fatty acids when a deficiency occurs


  • Contraindicated in the presence of disturbance of normal fat metabolism (hyperlipemia, lipoid nephrosis, acute pancreatitis), allergy to eggs.
  • Use caution in the presence of severe liver damage, pulmonary disease, anemia, blood coagulation disorders, pregnancy, jaundiced or premature infants.
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Adverse effects

  • CNS: Headache, flushing, fever, sweating, sleepiness, pressure over the eyes, dizziness
    GI: Nausea, vomiting
  • Hematologic: Thrombophlebitis, sepsis, hyperlipemia, hypercoagulability, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, elevated liver enzymes
  • Other: Irritation at infusion site, brown pigmentation in RES (IV fat pigment), cyanosis

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