Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis

Short-term stability studies of ampicillin and cephalexin in aqueous solution and human plasma: Application of least squares method in Arrhenius equation.

PMID 22559990


A limited number of studies with application of the Arrhenius equation have been reported to drugs and biopharmaceuticals in biological fluids at frozen temperatures. This paper describes stability studies of ampicillin and cephalexin in aqueous solution and human plasma applying the Arrhenius law for determination of adequate temperature and time of storage of these drugs using appropriate statistical analysis. Stability studies of the beta-lactams in human plasma were conducted at temperatures of 20°C, 2°C, -20°C and also during four cycles of freeze-thawing. Chromatographic separation was achieved using a Shimpak C(18) column, acetonitrile as organic modifier and detection at 215nm. LC-UV-MS/MS was used to demonstrate the conversion of ampicillin into two diastereomeric forms of ampicilloic acid. Stability studies demonstrated degradation greater than 10% for ampicillin in human plasma at 20°C, 2°C and -20°C after 15h, 2.7days, 11days and for cephalexin at the same temperatures after 14h, 3.4days and 19days, respectively, and after the fourth cycle of freezing-thawing. The Arrhenius plot showed good prediction for the ideal temperature and time of storage for ampicillin (52days) and cephalexin (151days) at a temperature of -40°C, but statistical analysis (least squares method) must be applied to avoid incorrect extrapolations and estimated values out uncertainty limits.