Journal of AOAC International

A new, sensitive, and rapid spectrophotometric method for the determination of sulfa drugs.

PMID 12180680


A sensitive, rapid, and simple spectrophotometric method is described for the determination of sulfa drugs. The method is based on the formation of a red-colored product by the diazotization of sulfonamides such as sulfathiazole (SFT), sulfadiazine (SFD), sulfacetamide (SFA), sulfamethoxazole (SFMx), sulfamerazine (SFMr), sulfaguanidine (SFG), and sulfamethazine (SFMt), followed by complexation with dopamine in the presence of molybdate ions in (1 + 1) H2SO4 medium. Absorbance of the resulting red product is measured at 490-510 nm, and the product is stable for 2 days at 27 degrees C. Beer's law is obeyed in the concentration range of 0.04-8.0 microg/mL at the wavelength of maximum absorption. The method was used successfully for the determination of some sulfonamides in tablets and eye drops. Common excipients used as additives in pharmaceuticals do not interfere in the proposed method. The method offers the advantages of simplicity, rapidity, and sensitivity without the need for extraction or heating. The limits of detection and quantitation were calculated for SFT, SFD, SFA, SFMx, SFMr, SFG, and SFMt.