URL of this page: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a688003.html

Fat Emulsions for Injection

pronounced as (fat i mull' shuns)

About your treatment

Your doctor has ordered fat emulsion to be used as a source of calories and fatty acids to maintain or increase your weight. The medication will be diluted in a total parenteral nutrition (TPN) solution or in a separate container and allowed to drip through a needle or catheter placed in your vein for at least 4 to 6 hours a day or administered by constant infusion over 24 hours.

Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.


Before administering fat emulsion,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to fat emulsion, eggs (one ingredient in fat emulsions comes from eggs), soybean oil, safflower oil, or any drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease or diabetes.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking fat emulsion, call your doctor.

Administering your medication

Before you administer fat emulsion, look at the solution closely. It should be free of floating material. Gently squeeze the bag or observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the bag or container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider.

It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider. Your health care provider may tell you to stop your infusion if you have a mechanical problem (such as a blockage in the tubing, needle, or catheter); if you have to stop an infusion, call your health care provider immediately so your therapy can continue.

Side effects

Fat emulsion may cause side effects. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your health care provider immediately:

  • vomiting
  • shivering
  • fever
  • chills

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

Storing your medication

  • Your health care provider probably will give you a several-day supply of fat emulsion at a time. You probably will be told to store it in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  • Take your next dose from the refrigerator 1 hour before using it; place it in a clean, dry area to allow it to warm to room temperature.

Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly.

Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Signs of infection

If you are receiving fat emulsion in your vein or under your skin, you need to know the symptoms of a catheter-related infection (an infection where the needle enters your vein or skin). If you experience any of these effects near your intravenous catheter, tell your health care provider as soon as possible:

  • tenderness
  • warmth
  • irritation
  • drainage
  • redness
  • swelling
  • pain

Brand names

  • Intralipid®
  • Liposyn®
  • Nutrilipid®
  • Soyacal®
  • Travamulsion®

These branded products are no longer on the market and only generic alternatives are available.

Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010