LC–MS/MS method for simultaneous determination of diethylcarbamazine, albendazole and albendazole metabolites in human plasma: Application to a clinical pharmacokinetic study

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Combination therapy with anti-filarial drugs is now widely used for treatment of lymphatic filariasis. A rapid, selective, and sensitive liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) method was developed and validated for simultaneous quantitation of diethylcarbamazine (DEC), albendazole (ABZ) and albendazole metabolites in human plasma. Separation and detection of analytes were achieved on a reversed phase column (Acquity UPLC®BEH C18 column (100 × 2.1 mm, 1.7 μm) with gradient elution using 0.05% formic acid in methanol and 0.05% formic acid as mobile phase. Solid phase extraction was utilized for elution of analytes from the matrix. Thereafter, analytes were monitored by using MS/MS with electrospray ionization source in positive multiple reaction monitoring mode. The MS/MS response was linear over the concentration range from 0.1–200 ng/mL for ABZ and ABZ-ON, 0.5–1000 ng/mL for ABZ-OX and 1–2000 ng/mL for DEC with a correlation coefficient (r2) of 0.998 or better. The within- and between-batch precisions (relative standard deviation, % RSD) and the accuracy (% bias) were within the acceptable limits as per FDA guideline. The validated method was successfully applied to the clinical pharmacokinetic study. Due to high sensitivity and low requirement of sample volume, the method will be applicable for therapeutic drug monitoring of this regimen.

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