HPLC-UV and UPLC-MS/MS methods for the simultaneous analysis of sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil and their counterfeits dapoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram, tramadol, and yohimbine in aphrodisiac products†
In recent times, the counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals has been considered a serious trouble especially in developing countries that acquire poor inspection programs. Sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil (phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors) products have gained wide popularity in treating sexual disorders, for which they are subjected to counterfeiting. For this purpose, a simple, rapid, and novel HPLC method with ultraviolet detection has been simply developed for the simultaneous determination of vardenafil, sildenafil, and tadalafil, and their counterfeits (dapoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram, tramadol and yohimbine) in pharmaceutical dosage forms and counterfeit products such as instant coffee and honey. The separation was carried out on a C18 column, with acetonitrile and an aqueous 0.05% formic acid solution as the mobile phase with a gradient program and at a flow rate of 1 mL min−1. UV detection was accurately set at 230 nm. The total run time was 11 min for elution of these eight drugs. A UPLC-MS/MS method was also developed, by which compounds were separated in only 6 min, and it was used as a confirmatory tool for studied compounds by identification of their mass spectra. Proposed methods were validated by following ICH guidelines. Both methods were found to be linear, specific, precise and accurate, and they were efficiently applied to analyze 50 commercial products including honey sachets, instant coffee and pharmaceutical products marketed as aphrodisiacs and suspected to contain PDE5-inhibitors.