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Talanta. 2009 May 15;78(3):748-52. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2008.12.040. Epub 2008 Dec 30.

Simultaneous voltammetric determination of paracetamol and caffeine in pharmaceutical formulations using a boron-doped diamond electrode.

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Instituto de Química de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo, C.P. 780, 13560-970 São Carlos, SP, Brazil.


A simple and highly selective electrochemical method was developed for the single or simultaneous determination of paracetamol (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol, acetaminophen) and caffeine (3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione) in aqueous media (acetate buffer, pH 4.5) on a boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrode using square wave voltammetry (SWV) or differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). Using DPV with the cathodically pre-treated BDD electrode, a separation of about 550 mV between the peak oxidation potentials of paracetamol and caffeine present in binary mixtures was obtained. The calibration curves for the simultaneous determination of paracetamol and caffeine showed an excellent linear response, ranging from 5.0 x 10(-7)mol L(-1) to 8.3 x 10(-5)mol L(-1) for both compounds. The detection limits for the simultaneous determination of paracetamol and caffeine were 4.9 x 10(-7)mol L(-1) and 3.5 x 10(-8)mol L(-1), respectively. The proposed method was successfully applied in the simultaneous determination of paracetamol and caffeine in several pharmaceutical formulations (tablets), with results similar to those obtained using a high-performance liquid chromatography method (at 95% confidence level).

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