In the current study, a simple, improved, precise, rapid, and accurate reverse phase liquid chromatographic method was produced for the estimation of dalfampridine in bulk and tablet dosage form which is a potassium channel blocker used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The separation of dalfampridine was achieved isocratically on a C18 column (250 × 4.6 mm, 5 μm) using (0.1% v/v) buffer pH 3.0 ± 0.05 adjusted with diluted orthophosphoric acid (OPA) and acetonitrile (ACN) in the ratio of 60:40% (v/v) as a mobile phase, at a flow rate of 0.5 mL/min, and column temperature of 40 °C. HPLC grade methanol as diluents was used. Five microliters of the standard solution of the drug was injected, and the eluted analytes were detected at 262 nm.
Dalfampridine was eluted at 4.5 min with a run time of 10 min. Linearity in the method was measured in the concentration range of 25–75 ppm with a correlation coefficient of 0.999. Limit of detection and limit of quantitation were found to be 0.711 μg/mL and 2.154 μg/mL, respectively. Dalfampridine was subjected for forced degradation stability study in conditions of thermal, acid, alkali, and oxidation and photo-degradation condition. The degradants were well resolved from the dalfampridine main peak. Validation of the developed method is carried as per USFDA and ICH guidelines.
The results of the analysis prove that the method is simple, improved, precise, accurate, and rapid for estimating the content of dalfampridine in bulk drug and tablet dosage form and can be applied for routine analysis.
The dalfampridine, known as 4-aminopyridin and chemically is 1,4-dihydropyridin-4-imine (Fig. 1), is used mostly for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Dalfampridine is considered a broad- spectrum in action. Pharmacologically, the drug is a potassium channel blocker and mostly lipophilic in nature, which binds favorably to the open state potassium channel in the central nervous system (CNS) [1, 2]. Dalfampridine is rapidly and completely absorbed orally to attain relative bioavailability up to 96%. The excretion takes in unchanged form, mostly from urine (96%) . The reported solubility of dalfampridine was found in water, methanol, acetonitrile (ACN), acetone, ethyl ether, and very soluble in ethanol. It was found slightly soluble in ligroin [4, 5]. The stability of a drug in formulation refers to the ability of a particular formulation to maintain its specifications related to its identity, strength, quality, and purity . Degradation studies over the drug can be calculated by exposing the drug in extremes pH conditions (acidic or basic), oxidative reactions, ecstatic temperature, UV, and dry heat to an extent of 5–20% [7, 8]. For analysis of a drug and its substances, sensitive methods such as LC/MS and GC/MS are preferred but are expensive. The HPLC is found to be the most reliable and cost-effective [9, 10]. The methods reported by the use of reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) mostly involve the gradient mode of analysis, which makes analysis complex . Hence, the current work aims to develop an accurate, specific, stability-indicating, isocratic method for the estimation of dalfampridine in bulk and tablet form.
Waters HPLC (Separation module 2695) chromatographic system equipped with PDA-detector 2487 Xterra C18 (250 × 4.6 mm, 5 μL) thermostatic column compartment connected with Empower-3 software, consisting of pump, autosampler, and auto-injector. Shimadzu-(ATX 224)-digital weighing balance, BT ultra sonicator 48, digital systronic pH meter (802), and Millipore vacuum filter pump (XI 5522050) were used for the method development. A 0.22-μm Nylon filter of Merck Millipore was used for filtration.
Materials and reagents
The pharmaceutical grade working standards of dalfampridine were obtained as a gift from Enaltec Pharma. Research Pvt. Ltd (Ambernath, Mumbai, India). Dalfampridine tablet formulation (10 mg) was used of brand AMPYRA, marketed by Accorda Therapeutics Inc. The HPLC grade triethylamine, OPA, methanol, and ACN were procured from SD Fine Chem., Mumbai, India, for the present study. The Milli-Q water procured from Mumbai, India, was used for the analysis.
The buffer pH 3.0 and ACN in the ratio 60:40% v/v was used as a mobile phase. The flow rate was maintained at 0.5 mL/min. The column temperature was kept at 40 °C, and the detection was carried out at 262 nm with an injection volume of 5 μL.
Preparation of the mobile phase
One milliliter of triethylamine was added to 1000 mL Milli-Q water. The pH was adjusted to 3.0 ± 0.05 with OPA. The solution was filtered through a 0.45-μ membrane filter and was sonicated for 15 min to degas it. The buffer (0.1%) pH 3.0 and ACN in the ratio of 60:40% v/v was used as a mobile phase. Dalfampridine was separated and eluted in an isocratic program.
Preparation of standard solution (50 ppm)
Accurately weighed 50 mg of dalfampridine as working standard was transferred to a volumetric flask of 50 mL followed by 30 mL of methanol and sonicated. The cooled solution was adjusted up to the mark with methanol. Further 5 mL solution was diluted to 100 mL with diluents.
Preparation of sample solution (50 ppm)
Ten intact tablets of dalfampridine were transferred into a 100-mL volumetric flask. About 70 mL of methanol was added, and the resulting solution was sonicated for 25 min with intermittent shaking, then cooled, and diluted up to the mark with methanol. The resulting solution was then allowed to settle for 15 min and then the solution was centrifuged at 5000 RPM. Further, 5 mL of the supernatant solution was diluted to 100 mL with diluents and filtered through a 0.45-μ Nylon membrane syringe filter or equivalent.
Forced degradation study
Forced degradation studies were carried out on dalfampridine under several conditions as per ICH guidelines Q1A(R2) and Q1 B.
Photolytic degradation was performed by amusing samples under UV and white light for 1.2 million lux hours in a Petri plate for 7 days. The previously exposed sample (10 tablets) was weighed and diluted with methanol to 100 mL after sonication. Supernatant 5 mL solution was diluted to 100 mL with diluent.
The thermal stability of the drugs was calculated by keeping the sample in an oven at about 70 °C for 24 h. About 5 mL of this stressed solution was diluted with diluent.
Degradation under acidic condition was calculated by treating the stock solution with 5 mL of 5N HCl and refluxed at 60 °C for 2 h. The diluent is used for the dilution of the resulting solution.
Under alkaline conditions, degradation was studied by refluxing standard solution with 5 mL of 5N NaOH and refluxed at 60 °C for 2 h. The diluent is used for the dilution of the resulting solution.
The standard solution was subjected to oxidative degradation by refluxing with 5 mL of 30% v/v hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution at 60 °C for 2 h and then treated with diluent.
The chromatogram was studied according to the area of peak of drug and appearance of another/secondary peaks. Any change in area and appearance of secondary peaks will be considered as degradation.
The developed method was validated as per ICH Q2 (R1) and USFDA guidelines. The method was validated for the parameters such as linearity and range, specificity, accuracy, precision, robustness, ruggedness, limit of detection (LOD), and limit of quantitation (LOQ). The specificity was determined by injecting samples of blank, placebo (except dalfampridine), standard solution, and sample solution from the formulation.
According to the force degradation experiments and chromatographic analysis, it was concluded that dalfampridine resulted into minimal degradation in conditions such as acid (SF-2), base (SF-3), and peroxide (SF-4) and thermal and photolytic degrading conditions in the range of 1–8%. The higher degradation was found in base degrading condition up to 8.6%, and only one degradation product was found in peroxide degrading condition, which was eluted at a retention time (RT) of 4.9 min. The control sample (SF-1), i.e., the sample of unstressed condition, was also employed for analysis, which was used for comparison with results of forced degradation. The results of force degradation are tabulated in Table 6.
Method development and optimization of chromatographic conditions
To achieve satisfactory separation of dalfampridine, different buffer at various pH conditions and solvents of different proportions were tested as binary and tertiary eluents. However, the buffer was adjusted at pH 3.0 with dilute OPA and ACN to achieve good satisfactory results at a flow rate of 0.5 mL/min measured at a detection of 262 nm. The optimized chromatogram and optimized conditions are mentioned in Fig. 2 and Table 1, respectively.
System suitability results
The system suitability parameters such as retention time, tailing factor, and theoretical plates for optimized standard mixture chromatogram are tabulated in Table 2.
The linearity sample preparation was carried out 4 to 15 ppm (ST-1). The calibration curve (Fig. 3) was plotted with a concentration of standard solutions against mean peak areas.
It is derived from linearity. The range was evaluated by measuring different concentrations of standard solutions to dalfampridine, i.e., 25 to 75 ppm (50 to150%) as shown in ST-2.
The standard and sample solution peaks were found at RT 4.5 min within system suitability test acceptance criteria as presented in SF-5. As per degradation studies, the interference with degradants was nil, and the purity angle for the sample solution is less than the purity threshold which indicates the peak is pure. Hence, the results of specificity of the developed method were found to be in acceptance criteria. The results are presented in ST-3.
Accuracy (% Recovery)
The recovery studies show the accuracy in the proposed method; the known amount of pure drug concentrations was spiked in placebo at three different levels, i.e., 50%, 100%, and 150%, and the study was carried out in triplicates for each level. Accuracy was calculated in terms of the percentage of recovery. The results are tabulated in Table 3.
System precision, method precision, and intermediate precision are the three levels for evaluation. Each level was investigated by six replicate injections of concentration 50 ppm (100%) of dalfampridine. The results of precision were expressed in terms of % assay and RSD and are tabulated in ST-4.
The robustness was believed to be unaffected when small, deliberate changes like flow change, buffer pH change, wavelength change, and column temperature were performed at 100% test (50 ppm) concentration. The RT for the control sample was found at 4.9 min. Then, RT was shifted when the flow rate was changed and found at 6.2 min and 4.1 min at a flow rate of 0.4 and 0.6 mL/min, respectively. The results are summarized in Table 4.
The ruggedness was carried out by injecting 6 replicate injections of dalfampridine sample solution of conc. 50 ppm, i.e., 100% strength. The analysis was carried out by using two different analysts; hence, the analysis was carried out twice on a system. The results after the test were found within limits, and %RSD was found to be less than 2. The results of ruggedness are tabulated in Table 5.
Limit of detection and limit of quantitation
It was calculated by applying the formula given for LOD and LOQ.
The values for LOD and LOQ after calculation were found to be 0.711 μg/mL and 2.154 μg/mL, respectively.
Few methods like UV [12,13,14] spectroscopy and RP-HPLC [15,16,17,18,19] were reported for the estimation of dalfampridine. In the present method, dalfampridine was eluted at 4.5 min with a run time of 10 min. The present method was developed using 0.1% buffer at pH 3.0 ± 0.05 adjusted with diluted OPA and ACN in the ratio of 60:40% v/v. The method was developed with the minimum or reduced amount of organic solvents as the mobile phase which results in a more sensitive and cost-effective method. The analytical methods like stability-indicating RP-HPLC are responsible for idiosyncrasy between active pharmaceutical ingredients from any degradation products formed under given conditions. These are the methods where the effect of stressors like pH, temperature, and other conditions helps in understanding the stability of the drug during storage conditions and analysis; the results are summarized in Table 6.
Analysis of marketed sample
The method is applicable for the analysis of dalfampridine in marketed tablet dosage forms of 10 mg. The percentage assay results were found to be 98.3% and the amount found was up to 9.83 mg. The results are summarized in Table 7.
An accurate, precise, specific, stability-indicating, isocratic RP-HPLC method was developed for the estimation of dalfampridine in bulk and tablet dosage form. The compound was evaluated by forced degradation pertaining to several stress conditions, where the developed method separates the compound and degradants successfully and estimated the active contents. The method was successfully validated according to USFDA guidelines for all the parameters which were found within acceptance criteria. The developed method may be useful for routine analysis of dalfampridine tablets or for assay of dalfampridine tablets from stability batches.
Availability of data and materials
The data for verification is provided with a Supplementary file and the rest of the data, if required, will be available upon request.
Reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography
Central nervous system
- R T :
Relative standard deviation
System suitability test
Limit of detection
Limit of quantitation
McDonald S, Clements JN (2011) Dalfampridine: a new agent for symptomatic management of multiple sclerosis. Am J Health Syst Pharm 68(24):2335–2340. https://doi.org/10.2146/ajhp110134
Tsang BK, Macdonell R (2011) Multiple sclerosis - diagnosis, management and prognosis. Reprints from Australian family physician. Focus Neurol 40(12):948–955
National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem database. 4-Aminopyridine, CID=1727. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/4-aminopyridine. Accessed 1 Mar 2020
Madhumathi CH, Padmalatha M, Sneha D (2014) Development and validation of UV spectrometric method for the estimation of dalfampridine in tablets. Int J Innov Pharm Sci Res 2(5):1019–1026
Redasan VK, Gazala LS, Surana SJ (2014) Development and validation of spectroscopic method for the estimation of dalfampridine in bulk and in tablet formulation. Anal Chem Ind J 14(1):37–41
Raut, G; Shirkhedkar, A; Ugale, V; and Surana, S. (2014) Simultaneous determination of prednisolone acetate and moxifloxacin hydrochloride in bulk and in eye drop using RP–HPTLC. J Liquid Chromatogr Relat Technol 37:528–537.6. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826076.2012.749495, 4
Bendale AR, Narkhede SP, Palande S, Nagar AA, Vidyasagar GL (2013) Validated RP-HPLC method as a tool for estimation of lornoxicam in pharmaceutical dosage form. Indo Am J Pharm Res 3(7):5491–5498
Sethi PD, Sethi R (2007) High performance liquid chromatography, quantitative analysis of pharmaceutical formulation. CBS Publishers and Distributors, pp 2–7
Nagar A, Chugh N (2015) Simultaneous estimation method development as analytical method for flupentixol dihydrochloride and melitracen HCl from their combined pharmaceutical dosage forms by RP-HPLC. Pharm Innov J 4(1):81–86
EL-Fatatry HM, Hammad SF, Elagamy SH (2013) Validation of spectro-fluorimetric determination of dalfampridine in its synthetic mixture and spiked human plasma through derivatization with fluorescamine. J Anal Tech 3(1):23–26
Nagar A, Deore S, Bendale A, Kakade R, Sonawane C (2020) Analytical method development and validation of Ramipril and Candesartan Cillexetil in synthetic mixture. Innov Pharm Pharmacother 8(2):14–20. https://doi.org/10.31690/ipp.2020.v08i02.001
Kovács B, Francisc B, Ibolya F, István Székely S (2020) HPLC method development for fampridine using analytical quality by design approach. Acta Pharma 70:465–482. https://doi.org/10.2478/acph-2020-0036
Babu C, Rao KL, Devanna N, Suresh R (2017) Development and validation of stability indicating reversed phase HPLC method for the determination of related substances in fampridine drug substance and tablet dosage forms. Asian J Pharm Clin Res 10(10):2017
Dharani NR, Padmini K, Sumakala S (2016) Stability indicating RP-HPLC method development and validation for estimation of dalfampridine in its bulk and formulation. Int J Adv Res 4(9):184–191. https://doi.org/10.21474/IJAR01/1471
Rathod KG (2019) Development and validation of RP-HPLC method for estimation of dalfampridine, in bulk and pharmaceutical dosage form. Indo Am J Pharm Res 9(12):614–630
Dobrina DT, Danka PO, Petar YA (2019) Pharmacological activity and analytical methods for determination of dampridine – a drug for multiple sclerosis treatment. Int J Curr Res 11(02):1342–1347. https://doi.org/10.24941/ijcr.34237.02.2019
Jain M, Srivastava V, Kumar R, Dangi V, Hiriyanna SG, Kumar A (2016) Determination of five potential genotoxic impurities in dalfampridine using liquid chromatography. J Pharm Biomed Anal. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2016.10.013
Khodke VS, Game MD (2019) Development and validation of novel ultraviolet spectrophotometric method for quantitative estimation of din bulk and in pharmaceutical formulation. Asian J Pharm Clin Res 12(7):1–5
Jain V, Dehariya R, Parkhe G (2019) Method development and validation for estimation of dalfampridine in synthetic mixture by using UV spectrophotometry and RP-HPLC. EAS J Pharm Pharmcol 1(4):1–4
We are thankful to Enaltec Pharma Research Pvt. Ltd, Ambernath, Mumbai, India, for providing the sample and helping in conducting this research. We are also thankful to Principal, R C Patel Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Shirpur, Maharashtra, for encouragement.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
Consent for publication
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Supplementary data of Control Sample, acid degradation, Base degradation, peroxide degradation and sample preparation under specificity are mentioned as figures indicating SF-1 to 5. Supplementary data of results of linearity, results of specificity and results of Precision are mentioned as Table indicating ST-1 to 3.
About this article
Cite this article
Bagal, D., Nagar, A., Joshi, A. et al. Development and validation of stability-indicating RP-HPLC method for estimation of dalfampridine in bulk drug and tablet dosage form. Futur J Pharm Sci 7, 87 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s43094-021-00232-4
- Stability-indicating RP-HPLC
- Multiple sclerosis
- Forced degradation