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Keywords:

  • NMR;
  • 1H;
  • 2D DOSY NMR;
  • 3D DOSY-COSY NMR;
  • counterfeit drugs;
  • PDE-5 inhibitors;
  • sildenafil;
  • vardenafil;
  • homosildenafil;
  • excipients

Abstract

Two-dimensional diffusion ordered spectroscopy (DOSY) 1H NMR is proposed to analyze drugs that are complex mixtures in order to discriminate genuine from fake formulations. The method was applied to the analysis of 17 formulations of sildenafil, one being genuine Viagra and the others illegally manufactured formulations of this drug coming from India, Syria and China. It enabled (i) distinguishing imitations or counterfeit from the authentic formulation, (ii) detecting the presence of sildenafil or adulterants, (iii) gaining information on the formulation process by detection of various excipients, thus giving a precise and global ‘signature’ of the manufacturer. Even though some samples are slightly overdosed, the quality of products manufactured in India and Syria was better than that of Chinese formulations which were adulterated with vardenafil and homosildenafil. This study also presents a three-dimensional DOSY-COSY 1H NMR experiment that provides both virtual separation and structural information. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.