Use of Expired Open Single-Use Propofol Vials for Euthanasia

Last Updated: 7/24/2023

Purpose/ Applicability: 

The purpose of this SOP is to outline the process for preparing and storing open single-use propofol vials in the VTH for euthanasia.


Single-use 20ml propofol vials are to be used for a single patient, for one dose, then should be properly disposed of as an expired medication. The exception to this is that a service may save remaining propofol for use in euthanasia procedures following the procedure below. After a vial of propofol is utilized and there is still drug remaining, the vial will be injected with blue food coloring to denote its status as expired, prior to being appropriately stored and utilized for euthanasia.



This applies to all single-use propofol vials that are utilized throughout the VTH, in all services.



Single Use Propofol: Propofol vials that are labeled as “single use only”. This does NOT include Propoflo-28.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic. This does not include the Medical District Veterinary Clinic (MDVC).



  • Blue food coloring
  • Sharpie marker
  • Auxiliary sticker(s)



Any expired propofol that the service would like to store for later use in euthanasia procedures must follow the guidelines below.

  1. The medication vial must be injected with blue, oil-based food coloring to denote that the medication is expired.
    • Blue food coloring can be obtained at the Medication Dispensary.
    • 1 mL of food coloring should be added to the medication by a Medication Dispensary staff member.
    • The date of addition of blue food coloring should be documented and the medication should have an “Expiration date ________” sticker added to the vial.
    • The expiration date should be denoted as 30 days from the day of the food coloring addition.
  1. The medication must have a large “X” written across the drug name in Sharpie.
  2. The medication must be stored in the refrigerator in a bin specified as “Propofol for Euthanasia Use Only.”

Failure to follow this policy may result in losing the ability to maintain partially used vials of propofol for euthanasia.

Keywordspropofol, euthanasia, food coloring   Doc ID129906
OwnerJenny C.GroupUofI College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created2023-07-24 13:55 CDTUpdated2023-07-24 13:57 CDT
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Feedback  0   0