Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Department of Medicine

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Division of Clinical Pharmacology

Pharmacology/Toxicology ​​Laboratory​


The activities of the Division of Pharmacology are supported by a routine Pharmacology/Toxicology laboratory which provides an all-hour analytical service. Although the Tygerberg Academic Hospital is still the most frequent user of this service, it is accessible to all the hospitals, health care facilities and agencies (eg private pathology services, rehabilitation centres, etc) in the Cape Peninsula that have a need for qualitative or quantitative data on xenobiotics (medicinal agents, drugs of abuse and toxic as well as potentially toxic xenobiotics). Service requests from the private sector show an ever-escalating tendency and, since the greater part of these requests is emergency-related, depend heavily on the reliable all-hour service that is provided.

The activities of the routine laboratory, as determined by service demands (reflecting agent use and abuse), represent broad health care trends and patterns and, as such, constitute a valuable research opportunity in respect thereof. Statistical data are collected on an ongoing basis in order to improve the health care infrastructure in the region. An average number of 18 000 samples are analysed annually and valuable statistical data have already been extracted from this extensive data base.

In addition to the above, the Pharmacology/Toxicology laboratory also performs routine in vivo toxicological analyses (eg pyrogens), as well as abnormal toxicity tests on human blood products including stabilised human serum, albumin and anti-haemophilic factor (Factor VIII) and other pharmaceutical preparations. Pyrogens are also determined in biological products for diagnostic use eg hyaluronidase, deoxyribonuclease and peroxidase.

A Class 1000 sterile facility, equipped with a laminar flow cabinet for preparing small volumes of pharmaceuticals on request, is also available.

Analyses for the agents indicated in the table here below are available and may be requested at any time without special arrangements. The consultant pharmacologist/toxicologist on duty (vide supra) should be contacted if interpretation of the analytical data is required or assistance needed with the adjustment or optimalization of therapeutic concentrations of medicinal agents. The consultant may also be approached for advice on the feasibility/possibilities of qualitative identification, or quantitative determination of agents and substances not listed in the table.

Enquiries in respect of any of the routine analyses are welcomed.

Pharmacology/Toxicology Laboratory: +27 21 938-6168 (all hours)





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