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    An incident of sartan medicine contamination was notified by Europe in June 2018. The contaminant was identified as a probable carcinogenic nitrosamine and the recalls of sartan medicines were soon made. Since then, more nitrosamine contaminants in sartan medicines were reported. To broaden the applicability and variety in nitrosamine determination, a multi-analyte method is required. In this study, a feasible and sensitive multi-analyte LC-MS/MS method for determination of 12 nitrosamines in sartans was established, where the active pharmaceutical ingredients and final products merchandised in Taiwan were also examined. Chromatographic separation was achieved on an Xselect® HSS T3 column (15 cm × 3 mm i.d., 3.5 μm) with gradient elution using mobile phase A consisting of 0.1% formic acid in water and mobile phase B consisting of 0.1% formic acid in acetonitrile/methanol (2:8). Validation of the proposed method was also carried out. The limit of detection and limit of quantification for 12 nitrosamines were 20 ng/g and 50 ng/g, respectively. The intra-day and inter-day recoveries of nitrosamines were among 80-120% with precision of 20% for most nitrosamines within sartans matrices. The method was successfully established and applied to authentic samples which a total of 98 positive samples containing 5 distinct nitrosamines, including N-nitrosodiethylamine, N-nitrosodimethylamine, N-nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid, N-nitrosomorpholine and N-nitrosopiperidine, were detected from 557 authentic samples.


    Shu-Han Chang, Ching-Chia Chang, Li-Jing Wang, Wei-Ching Chen, Shu-Yu Fan, Chi-Zong Zang, Ya-Hui Hsu, Mei-Chih Lin, Su-Hsiang Tseng, Der-Yuan Wang. A multi-analyte LC-MS/MS method for screening and quantification of nitrosamines in sartans. Journal of food and drug analysis. 2020 Jun 15;28(2):292-301

    PMID: 35696119

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