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Thursday 30 March 2000

Stability assessment of ketoconazole in aqueous formulations.

By: Skiba M, Skiba-Lahiani M, Marchais H, Duclos R, Arnaud P.

Int J Pharm 2000 Mar 30;198(1):1-6

Ketoconazole is an imidazole antifungal agent. It has a wide antifungal spectrum and possesses some antibacterial activity. In inappropriate formulations, especially in aqueous media, ketoconazole molecules may be unsteady. The stability of ketoconazole in aqueous media was assessed as a function of pH, antioxidant and ketoconazole concentrations. It was found that ketoconazole was least stable at pH 1 among the pH values studied (pH 1-9). Since the major degradation pathway was specific acid catalysis, based upon the transition-state theory, the entropy (DeltaS) of the activation was calculated and found to be negative indicating that the activated complex was more constrained than the individual species. The free energy of activation (DeltaG) was estimated to be 30 kcal mol(-1). The viscosity of the formulation was found to be more stable at high pH because carbopol is stable at basic pH and protected ketoconazole. It appears that the amount of ketoconazole in the formulation has a low influence on the degradation mechanisms. The increase of the butylated hydroxytoluene antioxidant levels from 0.05 to 0.4%, adversely affected the stability of ketoconazole. In conclusion, the expected shelf life of the final ketoconazole formulation (pH 7, 0.1% butylated hydroxytoluene) was 15 months.

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