Determination of isotretinoin in pharmaceutical formulations by reversed-phase HPLC


The development of facile and rapid quantification of biologically active biomolecules such as isotretitoin in therapeutic drugs contained in many generic formu- lations is necessary for determining their efficiency and their quality to improve the human health care. Isotretritoin finds its applications in the maintenance of epithelial tissues. Different processes to date such as normal phase HPLC, or gas chromatrography am- ong others are able to separate and quantify isote- troin. However, the extraction is quite complex and in the case of HPLC, the analysis requires long retention times. In such context, an isocratic reversed- phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HP- LC) technique coupled with an UV-vis detector is described here for easy separation and quantification of 13-cis-retinoic (isotretinoin) from soft gelatin capsule formulations. The isotretinoin was extracted from three different commercial drug samples with tetrahydrofuran (THF) solvent by a procedure that can be completed in less than 10 minutes. Subsequent separation and quantification were accomplished in less than 5 minutes under isocratic reversed-phase conditions on a Lichrospher RP18 column and a mobile phase consisting of 0.01% TFA/acetonitrile (15/85, v/v) at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min. Isotretoin was detected for the three samples via its UV-vis absorbance at 342 nm. The method was validated and the results showed good linearity, precision and accuracy for sensitive and selective quantitative determination of isotretinoin in the different pharmaceutical formulations. We found that the average isotretinoin content in two of the three commercial pro- ducts fell outside the 90-110% United States Pha- rmacopeia specifications. Consequently, the facile extraction and the precise method for the biomole- cule quantification open up tremendous possibilities in improving the quality control of drugs which can exist as different generic brands.

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Guimaraes, C. , Menaa, F. , Menaa, B. , Lebrun, I. , Quenca-Guillen, J. , Auada, A. , Mercuri, L. , Ferreira, P. and Santoro, M. (2010) Determination of isotretinoin in pharmaceutical formulations by reversed-phase HPLC. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 3, 454-458. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2010.35063.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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