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Adherence in chronic diseases is a major problem which can be combated by prescribing fixed-dose combinations in the therapy of the disease. Thus, a combination of azathioprine and folic acid in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease is highly required, but prior to formulation development, chemical compatibility of the two drugs needs to be investigated. In this work, differential scanning calorimetry, isothermal stress testing, in vitro dissolution and forced degradation studies were utilized to investigate compatibility. Moreover, a stability-indicating HPLC-DAD method for the determination of parent drugs and five of their impurities was developed, validated and applied to the in-house sample. Compatibility testing revealed no noteworthy interactions of the two drug substances. Furthermore, forced degradation showed no substantial differences between the degradation profiles of each active pharmaceutical ingredient, their mixture and the in-house sample, further reinforcing the claim of compatibility. Lastly, the in-house sample was analyzed: it was shown to conform to the requirements of relevant regulatory documents for all the investigated analytes, demonstrating the method's viability for use in formulation and process development. Our results give way to the possibility of realization of said fixed-dose combination.


Edvin Brusač, Mario-Livio Jeličić, Daniela AmidŽić Klarić, Biljana Nigović, Sabina Keser, Ana Mornar. Development of a HPLC-DAD stability-indicating method and compatibility study of azathioprine and folic acid as a prerequisite for a monolayer fixed-dose combination. Analytical methods : advancing methods and applications. 2021 Mar 21;13(11):1422-1431

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PMID: 33687392

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