Development and validation of a stability-indicating HPLC-UV method for the determination of triamcinolone acetonide and its degradation products in an ointment formulation

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A stability indicating high performance liquid chromatography method has been developed for the determination of triamcinolone acetonide (TCA) and its main degradation products in ointment formulations. The method, based on extensive stress testing using metal salts, azobisisobutyronitrile, acid, base and peroxide, showed that TCA undergoes oxidative degradation. All degradation products were identified using HPLC mass spectrometry. Separation and quantification was achieved using an Altima C18 RP18 HP column (250 × 4.6 mm2, with 5 μm particles) using a mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile and water buffered at pH 7 using 10 mM phosphate buffer. A gradient mode was operated at a flow rate of 1.5 ml/min and detection was at 241 nm. The method showed linearity for TCA and Impurity C in 0.02–125% of the workload, both square roots of the correlation coefficients were larger than 0.9999. Repeatability and intermediate precision were performed by six consecutive injections of both 1.25% and 125% of the work load for both TCA and Impurity C divided equally over two days. RSD were 0.6% and 0.7% for TCA and 0.5% and 0.1% for Impurity C respectively. Accuracy was determined as well, the average recoveries were 99.5% (±0.1%, n = 3) for TCA and 96.9% (±1.3%, n = 3) for impurity C respectively from spiked ointment samples. The robustness was also evaluated by variations of column (old vs new), mobile phase pH and filter retention. The applicability of the method was evaluated by analysis of a commercial ointment formulation. Interestingly, the extensive stress tests were able to predict all degradation products of TCA in a long term stability ointment sample.

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