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Physicochemical and Microbiological Stability of Azathioprine in InOrpha Suspending Agent Studied Under Various Conditions

Author(s):  Amin Alexandre, Bourget Philippe, Vidal Fabrice, Cartier Francois, Beauvais Raphaelle, Do Nascimento Afonso Veronica

Issue:  Jan/Feb 2015 - Volume 19, Number 1
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Abstract:  Azathioprine is an antineoplastic antimetabolite drug currently used as an immunosuppressive agent after organ transplantation and for several dysimmunitary diseases. The usual daily dose ranges from 1 to 5 mg/kg orally. Azathioprine is marketed in France under the trade name Imurel in tablet form for oral administration that contains either 25 mg or 50 mg of the active ingredient. This Galenic formulation is not suitable for pediatric use and often requires a grinding operation or a dose fractionation to facilitate administration. In addition to a potential risk of imprecision in the administered dose, tablet grinding might unnecessarily expose nurses and families to a toxic compound. To overcome this problem, the objective of this study was to develop and evaluate the physicochemical and microbiological stabilities of azathioprine in a sugar-free, alcohol-free, and paraben- free InOrpha suspending agent. The studied samples were formulated into a 10-mg/mL suspension and stored in 24 plastic bottles of 60 mL at two different temperature conditions (between 2°C to 8°C and room temperature). Two series of 12 samples were tested for physicochemical stability using high-performance liquid chromatography as well as for a microbiological status for 35 days (daily opening of the bottles from day 0 of compounding) and for 56 days, upon daily flask opening (first opening at day 28 from compounding and daily opening for 28 consecutive days). The high-performance liquid chromatography method developed is linear, accurate, precise, and robust. In addition, a forced degradation study validated the selectivity and the specificity requirements of the method validated as stability indicating. At room temperature storage, high-performance liquid chromatography analysis showed that tested samples had concentrations ranging from 90% to 110% of the initial concentration throughout the course of the study. Microbiological status remained stable during the 56 days of investigation. Based on the data collected, the study led to the development of a new Galenic formulation of azathioprine that is suitable for pediatric use and can be safely stored at room temperature for 28 days (before and after opening for a maximum of 56 consecutive days).

Related Keywords: Alexandre Amin, PharmD, Philippe Bourget, PharmD, PhD, Fabrice Vidal, Laboratory Technician, Francois Cartier, Student Pharmacist, Raphaelle Beauvais, Bio-hygienist Technician, Veronica Do Nascimento Afonso, Technical Operator, peer reviewed, azathioprine suspension, antineoplastic antimetabolite immunosuppressive agent, tablet grinding, drug toxicity, drug safety, stability, temperature, France, microbial contamination


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