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Measurement of piperaquine in plasma by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet absorbance detection.

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School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley 6009, Australia.


Piperaquine (PQ) is an antimalarial drug enjoying a resurgence of use in combination with an artemisinin derivative because of parasite resistance to standard treatments. Its pharmacokinetic properties have not been characterised. An assay for PQ in plasma was developed using solvent extraction and liquid chromatographic separation on a Waters XTerra RP(18) column, with a mobile phase of 7% acetonitrile in water (containing 0.025% trifluoroacetic acid, 0.1% NaCl and 0.008% triethylamine) and UV detection at 340 nm. The assay was linear up to 1000 microg/l. Intra- and inter-day relative standard deviations were <10% (5-500 microg/l) and <21% (5-500 microg/l), respectively. Inter-day limits of quantitation and detection were 5 microg/l and 3 microg/l, respectively. A preliminary pharmacokinetic study in a patient who received 2.56 g of PQ phosphate orally with dihydroartemisinin as four doses over 32 h found an apparent steady-state volume of distribution of 447 l/kg, an apparent oral clearance 0.93 l/h/kg and a terminal half-life of 17.3 days.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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