Development and validation of a RP-HPLC method for Roflumilast and its degradation products

Pinheiro, M. S., Marins, R. D. C. E. E., Cabral, L. M., & de Sousa, V. P.

Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies 41.5 (2018): 223-231.

Roflumilast is a phosphodiesterase type 4 inhibitor that is administered orally as a long-term, in the clinical treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Launched in 2010 for the European market, it currently does not have an official monograph. Here, a reproducible gradient RP-HPLC method was developed and validated for the separation and determination of Roflumilast in the presence of its six major degradation products. Separation was performed on a C18 analytical column (250 × 4.6 mm, 5 µm) with a mobile phase-A of ACN and a phase-B of ammonium acetate buffer (5 mM, pH 4.2) containing triethylamine (0.5% v/v). The most effective RP-HPLC gradient program was determined to be 0/80, 35/10, 36/80, 40/80 (time in minutes/% mobile phase-B). The flow rate was 1.0 ml/min and the column temperature was 25°C. The success of separation of the degradation products with different chemical characteristics was obtained by extending the time of the gradient, changing the proportion of the mobile phases and increasing the velocity of the flow. Two detectors were evaluated for the identification of degradation products and Roflumilast: a diode-arrary detector and a charged aerosol detector. The inability of the charged aerosol detector to dectect one of the six degradation products indicated that the method developed with RP-HPLC and the diode-array detector was more suitable for Roflumilast analysis. The method was validated according to specificity, linearity, LOD, LOQ, accuracy, precision and robustness.

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