Chromatographic analysis of phenethylamine–antihistamine combinations using C8, C18 or cyano columns and micellar sodium dodecyl sulfate–pentanol mixtures
The chromatographic behaviour of binary and ternary mixtures of several phenethylamines (phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and methoxyphenamine) and antihistamines (pheniramine, carbinoxamine, doxylamine, chlorpheniramine, dexchlorpheniramine, dexbrompheniramine, diphenhydramine, tripolidine, azatadine and phenyltoloxamine), found in cough–cold pharmaceutical preparations, was studied using C8, C18 and cyano columns, micellar mobile phases of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and pentanol and UV detection. Using a C8 column and mobile phases of 0.05 mol l−1 SDS–6% v/v pentanol or 0.15 mol l−1 SDS–2% v/v pentanol at pH 7, more than 30 different phenethylamine–antihistamine combinations can be resolved in <15 min. Intra- and inter-day repeatabilities and reproducibilities evaluated at three different drug concentrations (0.5, 5 and 25 μg ml−1, n = 10) were below 1.6, 2.5 and 2.4%, respectively. The drug amounts found in 18 formulations agreed with those declared by the manufacturers within the tolerance limits, and with those obtained using a mobile phase of 55% v/v methanol at pH 7. No interference was observed from other accompanying drugs such as acetylsalicylic acid, ascorbic acid, betamethasone, bromhexine, caffeine, codeine, dextromethorphan, paracetamol, prednisolone, salicylamide and tartrazine. The proposed procedure has the advantage over the conventional aqueous–organic procedure of using a small amount of organic solvent, which is highly retained in the SDS solution. The efficiencies are also greater. On the other hand, in the micellar system, the retentions of phenethylamines and antihistamines are similar, although the compounds can be easily resolved. In contrast, using the methanol–water mobile phase, the phenethylamines are weakly retained, whereas the antihistamines usually show a high retention.