Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 142-147

First online:

Pharmaceutical analysis of the oral iron chelator deferiprone (DMHP, L1)

  • R. LangeAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Pharmacy
  • , W. LameijerAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacy, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis
  • , C. SlijkhuisAffiliated withDutch National Institute for the Quality Control of Drugs
  • , D. de KasteAffiliated withDutch National Institute for the Quality Control of Drugs

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The oral iron chelator deferiprone (1,2-dimethyl-3-hydroxypyrid-4-one, DMHP, L1 or CP20) can be a useful drug in patients with transfusional hemosiderosis. From 1987 about 1000 patients in 16 countries have taken this drug on the base of clinical trials or compassionate use. Since this compound is only available as a raw substance, it is important to ascertain its purity before bringing the drug into a pharmaceutical formulation. Because deferiprone is administered chronically and in high doses, intake of potential toxic impurities can be substantial.

In this article a proposal for the quality control of deferiprone is presented in the form of a pharmaceutical monograph. This includes the analytical methods required for identification, purity checking and assay. Furthermore the way we synthesized the drug to get hold of it in a pure form is described. This synthesis is also used in manufacturing the drug commercially. The monograph can be used as a guideline for standardization of the quality of deferiprone to be used for further study and treatment.


CP20 deteriprone 1,2-dimethyl-3-hydroxypyrid-4-one DMHP Iron overload L1 Oral iron chelator Pharmaceutical analysis Quality control Standardization Synthesis Transfusional hemosiderosis