Manufacturing processes may involve the presence of water in the crystallization of the drug substance or in manufacturing or in the composition of the drug product through excipients. Dehydration steps may occur in drying, milling, mixing and tabletting processes. Furthermore, drug substances and drug products are submitted to different temperatures and relative humidities, due to various climatic conditions giving rise to unexpected hydration or dehydration aging phenomena. Therefore the manufacture and the characterization of hydrates is part of the study of the physical properties of drug substances.
Several hydrates and even polymorphic forms thereof can be encountered. Upon dehydration crystal hydrates may retain more or less their original crystal structure, they can lose crystallinity and give anamorphous phase, they can transform to crystalline less hydrated forms or to crystalline anhydrous forms.
The proper understanding of the complex polyphasic systemhydrates–polymorphs–amorphous state needs several analytical methods. The use of techniques such as DSC-TG, TG-MS, sorption-desorption isotherms, sub-ambient experiments, X-ray diffraction combined with temperature or moisture changes as well as crystal structure and crystal modelling in addition to solubilities and dissolution experiments make interpretation and quantitation easier as demonstrated with some typical examples.