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Pharm Res. 2006 Oct;23(10):2393-404. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

Investigation of the multi-step dehydration reaction of theophylline monohydrate using 2-dimensional powder X-ray diffractometry.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.



(i) To study the dehydration kinetics of theophylline monohydrate using 2-dimensional (2D) powder X-ray diffractometry (XRD), and (ii) to investigate the effect of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) on the dehydration pathway and kinetics.


Theophylline monohydrate (C(7)H(8)N(4)O(2).H(2)O; M) was recrystallized from aqueous PVP solutions of different concentrations. Dehydration kinetics was studied isothermally, at several temperatures, from 35 to 130 degrees C. The experimental set-up comprised of a high intensity X-ray source (synchrotron radiation or 8 kW rotating anode), a heating chamber, and a 2D area detector. Diffraction patterns were collected continuously, with a time resolution ranging from 40 ms to 30 s, over the angular range of 3 to 27 degrees 2theta.


Dehydration of M resulted in either the stable (C(7)H(8)N(4)O(2); A), or the metastable anhydrate (A*), with the latter having a tendency to transform to A. The XRD technique allowed simultaneous quantification of M, A* and A during the dehydration reaction. The rate constants for individual reaction steps (M-->A*; M-->A and A*-->A) were determined by fitting the data to solid-state reaction models. In presence of PVP, there was a decrease in the magnitude of the rate constant associated with the M-->A transition, resulting in an increased build-up of A* in the product. The inhibitory effect of PVP on M-->A transition was more pronounced at lower dehydration temperatures, and was proportional to the concentration of PVP.


Two dimensional powder X-ray diffractometry, using a high intensity source, is a powerful technique to study kinetics of rapid solid-state reactions. The inhibitory effect of excipients can have profound effect on phases formed during pharmaceutical processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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