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Rapid Raman spectroscopic analysis of stress induced degradation of the pharmaceutical drug tetracycline

Domes, Christian; Frosch, Timea; Popp, Jürgen; Frosch, Torsten
in: Molecules (2020) 1866-1

Stress factors caused by inadequate storage can induce the unwanted degradation of active compounds in pharmaceutical formulations. Resonance Raman spectroscopy is presented as an analytical tool for rapid monitoring of small concentration changes of tetracycline and the metabolite 4-epianhydrotetracycline. These degradation processes were experimentally induced by changes in temperature, humidity, and irradiation with visible light over a time period of up to 23 days. The excitation wavelength λexc = 413 nm was proven to provide short acquisition times for the simultaneous Raman spectroscopic detection of the degradation of tetracycline and production of its impurity in small sample volumes. Small concentration changes could be detected (down to 1.4% for tetracycline and 0.3% for 4-epianhydrotetracycline), which shows the potential of resonance Raman spectroscopy for analyzing the decomposition of pharmaceutical products.

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