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J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2008 Apr 14;46(5):953-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2008.01.038. Epub 2008 Feb 3.

Analysis of flurbiprofen, ketoprofen and etodolac enantiomers by pre-column derivatization RP-HPLC and application to drug-protein binding in human plasma.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis and Drug Metabolism, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, PR China.


A stereoselective reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) assay to determine the enantiomers of flurbiprofen, ketoprofen and etodolac in human plasma was developed. Chiral drug enantiomers were extracted from human plasma with liquid-liquid extraction. Then flurbiprofen and ketoprofen enantiomers reacted with the acylation reagent thionyl chloride and pre-column chiral derivatization reagent (S)-(-)-alpha-(1-naphthyl)ethylamine (S-NEA), and etodolac enantiomers reacted with S-NEA using 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-3-ethyl-carbodiimide (EDC) and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HOBT) as coupling agents. The derivatized products were separated on an Agilent Zorbax C18 (4.6 mm x 250 mm, 5 microm) column with a mixture of acetonitrile-0.01 mol.L(-1) phosphate buffer (pH 4.5) (70:30, v/v) for flurbiprofen enantiomers, acetonitrile-0.01 mol.L(-1) phosphate buffer (pH 4.5) (60:40, v/v) for ketoprofen enantiomers and methonal-0.01 mol.L(-1) potassium dihydrogen phosphate buffer (pH 4.5) (88:12, v/v) for etodolac enantiomers as mobile phase. The flow of mobile phase was set at 0.8 mL.min(-1) and the detection wavelength of UV detector was set at 250 nm for flurbiprofen and ketoprofen enantiomers and 278 nm for etodolac enantiomers. The assay was linear from 0.5 to 50 microg.mL(-1) for each enantiomer. The inter- and intra-day precision (R.S.D.) was less than 10% and the average extraction recovery was more than 87% for each enantiomer. The limit of quantification for the method was 0.5 microg.mL(-1) (R.S.D.<10%, n=5). The method developed was used to study the drug-protein binding of flurbiprofen, ketoprofen and etodolac enantiomers in human plasma. The results showed that the stereoselective binding of etodolac enantiomer was observed and flurbiprofen and ketoprofen enantiomers were not.

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