Advances in Physical Chemistry

Advances in Physical Chemistry / 2008 / Article

Research Letter | Open Access

Volume 2008 |Article ID 169247 |

Ilma Nugrahani, Sukmadjaja Asyarie, Sundani Nurono Soewandhi, Slamet Ibrahim, "The Cold Contact Method as a Simple Drug Interaction Detection System", Advances in Physical Chemistry, vol. 2008, Article ID 169247, 4 pages, 2008.

The Cold Contact Method as a Simple Drug Interaction Detection System

Academic Editor: Leif A. Eriksson
Received14 Nov 2007
Accepted02 Jan 2008
Published19 Feb 2008


The physical interaction between 2 substances frequently occurs along the mixing and manufacturing of solid drug dosage forms. The physical interaction is generally based on coarrangement of crystal lattice of drug combination. The cold contact method has been developed as a simple technique to detect physical interaction between 2 drugs. This method is performed by observing new habits of cocrystal that appear on contact area of crystallization by polarization microscope and characterize this cocrystal behavior by melting point determination. Has been evaluated by DSC, this method is proved suitable to identify eutecticum interaction of pseudoephedrine HCl-acetaminophen, peritecticum interaction of methampyrone-phenylbutazon, and solid solution interaction of amoxicillin-clavulanate, respectively.

1. Introduction

In the pharmaceutical area, investigation of physical interaction which is very possible to occur along the mixing manufacturing process of dosage forms is an important issue because a lot of physical properties of drugs especially in solid state dosage forms could be influenced. Such changes as stability, drug performance, dissolution profile, pharmacokinetics profile, and, moreover, the pharmacological effect should be much impacted by the interactions [13]. Physical interactions in the solid state dosage form frequently occur even in storage and distribution time of dosage forms [4, 5]. Therefore, the simple technique to detect the interaction might be very useful. Along last decades, Kofler’s hot stage contact method, which observed the co-recrystallization from 2 compounds from their hot molten state, has been used as a simple method to detect the cocrystal formation as an indicator for physical interaction occurrence [6]. Unfortunately, in pharmaceutical area, there are a lot of thermolabile compounds which cannot be crystallized after melting, because we have arranged a simple method used to detect physical interaction of the thermolabile compounds. This method was conducted by observing the process of cocrystallization and its behavior on crystallization contact area of 2 drugs from their solution under microscope polarization and melting point determination. Briefly, this method is developed from Kofler’s contact methods by changing the comelting technique to the cosolvating crystallization. Recently, we have investigated the cold contact suitability to detect and identify the physical interaction of 3 drug combinations which are usually found in the dosage forms. Acetaminophen-pseudoephedrine HCl is found in antiinfluenza dosage forms, methampyrone-phenylbutazon in analgesic dosage forms, while amoxicillin-clavulanate in antibiotic combination dosage forms. All of these combinations have brought some troubles in mixing and compounding which caused high variability on their dosage forms quality. We used the cold contact method to detect the possibility of physical interaction of these drug combinations and evaluated the method by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) as a primary thermal analysis method.

2. Method and Results

The cocrystallization from solution in ambient temperature was suggested to be mentioned as the cold contact method [79]. In this report, differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) was used to evaluate the results by observing the thermal profile and arranging phase diagrams [1012]. From DSC data of varies molar or weight ratios (0 : 1, 1 : 9, 2 : 8, 3 : 7, 4 : 6, 5 : 5, 6 : 4, 7 : 3, 9 : 1, and 10 : 0), phase diagrams were arranged. In purpose to abbreviate the paper, phase diagrams are not presented.

The first drug combination which was examined is acetaminophen-pseudoephedrine HCl. Under polarization microscope, a black area was observed which melted at 113ºC, while pseudoephedrine HCl alone melted at 184ºC and acetaminophen alone at 170ºC (Figure 1(a)). It could be predicted that the binary system composed an eutectic mixture. By DSC, the prediction was evaluated and proved coherency. To clarify, the thermograms of 3 : 7, 5 : 5, and 7 : 3 weight ratios are described in Figure 1(b) which indicate the eutectic point at 112.3ºC, appropriate with cold contact data. Secondly, phenylbutazon-methampyrone combination showed a peritectic interaction which was proved by cold contact method and has been proven to be coherent with DSC analysis data. Last, amoxicillin-clavulanate mixture showed strong interaction with single exothermic transition curve at 202ºC, equal to its melting point which was observed by cold contact method.

The results prove strong relation between cold contact method data and DSC. The simple eutectic interaction of pseudoephedrine hcl-acetaminophen, the peritectic interaction between methampyrone-phenylbutazon, and solid solution formation between amoxicillin trihydrate-clavulanate have been early detected by this simple method. Therefore, this method has high possibility to be used as a simple method to evaluate the other drug interactions [1013].

Briefly, the experiment could be performed as follows.

(i)Each of the components is dissolved in the same solvent. Drop the solution 1 on cleaned object glass, evaporate the solvent and let it crystallize. The second solution is dropped near the formed crystal, let it diffuse slowly toward the crystal then quickly evaporate the solvent. Let second crystallization be performed and observe the contact area.(ii)Heat the cold contact preparation on hot plate and observe the melting point. Differences of melting points indicate the cocrystallization or physical interaction.(iii)The observation result could be confirmed with DSC.

3. Conclusion

The acceptability of the cold contact method as a simple method to identify the physical interaction of drug combination has been proved by coherency between the cold contact method data with the DSC evaluation.


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Copyright © 2008 Ilma Nugrahani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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