Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis

ESI-MSn and LC-ESI-MS studies to characterize forced degradation products of bosentan and a validated stability-indicating LC-UV method.

PMID 22999302


The present study reports the characterization of forced degradation products of bosentan and a validated stability-indicating HPLC method for the stability testing of bosentan tablets. The forced degradation was carried out under the conditions of hydrolysis, oxidation, dry heat and photolysis. The drug was found unstable in acid, alkali and oxidative media whereas stable to the hydrolysis in water, to dry heat and to photolysis. In total, six degradation products were formed in all conditions which were resolved in a single run on a C-18 column with gradient elution using ammonium acetate buffer (pH 4.5, 5.0mM), methanol and acetonitrile. Structures of all the degradation products were characterized through +ESI-MS(n) and LC-ESI-MS spectral data of bosentan as well as LC-ESI-MS spectral data of the products. The products II-VI were characterized as 6-amino-[2,2']bipyrimidinyl-4,5-diol, 6-amino-5-(2-methoxyphenoxy)-[2,2']-bipyrimidinyl-4-ol, 2-[6-amino-5-(2-methoxyphenoxy)-[2,2']-bipyrimidinyl-4-yloxy]-ethanol, 4-tert-butyl-N-[6-(1-methoxyethoxy)-5-(2-methoxyphenoxy)-[2,2']-bipyrimidinyl-4-yl]-benzenesulfonamide and 4-tert-butyl-N-[6-hydroxy-5-(2-methoxyphenoxy)-[2,2']bipyrimidinyl-4-yl]-benzenesulfonamide, respectively. The peak of the product I was found to be due to two secondary degradation products which co-eluted and were characterized as β-hydroxyethyl p-tert-butylphenylsulfonate (Ia) and 2-[2-(2-hydroxyethoxy)-phenoxy]-ethanol (Ib). These products were formed due to hydrolysis of sulfonamide and alkylaryl ether and the diaryl ether linkages as well as dehydration of the primary alcohol group. The most probable degradation mechanisms were proposed. The HPLC method was found to be stability-indicating, linear (2-100 μg ml(-1)), accurate, precise, sensitive, specific, rugged and robust for quantitation of the drug. The method was applied to the stability testing of the commercially available bosentan tablets successfully.