UFLC–MS/MS determination and pharmacokinetic studies of six Saikosaponins in rat plasma after oral administration of Bupleurum Dropping Pills

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A rapid and sensitive ultra fast liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method (UFLC–MS/MS) was developed and validated for the simultaneous determination of six Saikosaponins (SSs) (SSa, SSb1, SSb2, SSd, SSc, SSf) of Bupleurum Dropping Pills (BDP) in rat plasma using chloramphenicol as the internal standard (IS). The SSs were separated using an ACQUITY UPLC® BEH C18 column (50 mm × 2.1 mm, 1.7 μm) and detection of these compounds were done by using a Qtrap 5500 mass spectrometer coupled with negative electrospray ionization (ESI) source under the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. According to regulatory guidelines, the established method was fully validated and results were showed within acceptable limits. The lower limit of quantifications (LLOQs) of all analytes were 0.2 ng/mL. The validated method was successfully applied into a pharmacokinetic study of orally administered BDP in rats.

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