Stability Studies of a Mixture of Paracetamol and Ascorbic Acid, Prepared Extempore, at Elevated Temperature and Humidity Conditions

  • I Golonka
  • A Kawacki
  • W Musial
Keywords: Paracetamol, Ascorbic acid, Stability, Degradation, Over the counter drugs, Extemporaneous preparations


Purpose: To determine the effect of the temperature of water used for the preparation of paracetamol and ascorbic acid mixture on its stability, as well as to assess the influence of humidity on the stability of single components and their mixtures.

Methods: The stability of the mixtures in aqueous medium was evaluated with the aid of UV–Vis spectrophotometer interfaced with a computer. Spectral analysis was adapted to monitor changes in the aqueous medium of a commercial paracetamol and ascorbic acid mixture, an extemporaneously prepared mixture of paracetamol and ascorbic acid, and the individual preparations of paracetamol and ascorbic acid.

Results: The degradation rate was lower in commercial preparation (6.80 × 10-3 min-1), compared to that of the extemporaneously prepared ascorbic acid/paracetamol mixture (2.30 × 10-2 min-1). The decomposition of the commercial product in aqueous medium was 3.38 times slower than that of the extemporaneously prepared mixture. Ascorbic acid, tested under the same conditions as the commercial product, was unstable in aqueous solutions, with a degradation rate of 1.17×10-2 min-1. Ascorbic acid, dissolved in water, degraded completely within 4 h at room temperature, whereas paracetamol remained stable under the same conditions for 11 days.

Conclusion: The individual drugs in their original form retained their stability for 72 h, but some of the mixtures, in particular, the extemporaneously prepared ones showed more rapid degradation. Extemporaneous preparation of paracetamol/ascorbic acid liquid mixtures should not be encouraged.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996