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Measurement, analysis and prediction of amoxicillin oral dose stability from integrated molecular description approach and accelerated predictive stability (APS)

  • Merienne, Camille1
  • Marchand, Chloe1
  • Filali, Samira1
  • Salmon, Damien1, 2
  • Pivot, Christine1
  • Pirot, Fabrice1, 2
  • 1 Groupement Hospitalier Centre Edouard Herriot, Place d’Arsonval, 69437 Lyon Cedex 03 , (France)
  • 2 Laboratoire de Recherche et Développement de Pharmacie Galénique Industrielle, UMR 5305, Plateforme Fripharm, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France , (France)
Published Article
Pharmaceutical Technology in Hospital Pharmacy
De Gruyter
Publication Date
May 26, 2020
DOI: 10.1515/pthp-2020-0009
De Gruyter


Background Stability of low amoxicillin oral dosage form (5 mg) used in reintroduction drug test was not fully documented. Furthermore, the impact of (1) salt moiety of amoxicillin and (2) amoxicillin – excipient interactions upon the antibiotic formulation stability during the storage was not characterized so that the estimation of the pharmaceutical expiration date from shelf-life was uncertain. Thus, the main goal of this study was to estimate the shelf-life of two formulations of amoxicillin, using a semi-predictive methodology. Methods Amoxicillin sodium (AS) and amoxicillin trihydrate (ATH), corresponding to 5-mg amoxicillin, were compounded with microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) in oral hard capsules which were, then, submitted to four environmental conditions (25 °C / 60% or 80% relative humidity (RH); 40 °C / 75% RH; 60 °C / 5% RH) in climatic chambers for 45 and 84 days. Therefore, the characterization of amoxicillin-MCC mixture was assessed by attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) The profiles of amoxicillin content (determined by stability indicating chromatographic method) as a function of storage time, temperature and RH were fitted to pre-defined kinetic models performed by accelerated predictive stability (APS). Results ATR-FTIR analysis of AS, ATH, MCC and bulk specimens stored in heated and humid atmosphere confirmed water sorption to cellulose described by a broad and unresolved 3600 to 3000 cm−1 band associated with (1) general intramolecular and intermolecular hydrogen bonding between water and hydroxyl groups of the cellulose, and with (2) free hydroxyl in cellulose. Moreover, a dramatic decrease of absorption at 1776 and 1687 cm−1 respectively characteristic of the β-lactam ring (ν C=O) and amide group (ν C=O), was revealed as a consequence of AS and ATH degradation caused by moisturization of bulk. Amoxicillin degradation was established by chromatographic analysis showing faster AS degradation than ATH throughout time exposure. The combined effects of temperature – RH were successfully modeled by APS, where AS and ATH showed accelerated (auto-catalysis degradation mechanism) and linear degradation, respectively. The faster AS degradation was assumed to be linked to lower hydrogen donor to hydrogen acceptor count ratio and polar surface than ATH, increasing the probability of AS hydrolysis by water adsorption to AS-MCC solid dispersion (e.g., by reduction of protective intramolecular hydrogen bonds between AS molecules). Furthermore, the compounding which involved a drastic homogenization of solids may have affected the crystalline degree of MCC with an increase of amorphous phase more sensitive to water adsorption. Conclusions The improvement of amoxicillin compounding for oral dose forms might be rationalized by taking into account the molecular descriptors of salt moiety and excipients, improved by the choice of an appropriate process of production, characterized from infrared vibrational spectroscopy and chromatographic analysis and finally predicted from accelerated stability assays.

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