Pilot study of the short-term physico-chemical stability of atenolol tablets stored in a multi-compartment compliance aid
Chan, K., Swinden, J. and Donyai, P. (2007) Pilot study of the short-term physico-chemical stability of atenolol tablets stored in a multi-compartment compliance aid. European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy Science, 13 (3). pp. 60-66.
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Study objectives: There is a possibility that lower air, moisture and light protection could impact on physico-chemical stability of medicines inside multi-compartment compliance aids (MCCAs), although this has not yet been proved. The objectives of the study were to examine the physico-chemical stability of atenolol tablets stored in a compliance aid at room temperature, and at elevated temperature and humidity to simulate practice conditions. Methods: Atenolol 100 mg tablets in 28-chamber, plastic compliance aids with transparent lids were stored for four weeks at room temperature and at 40°C with 75% relative humidity. Tablets were also stored at room temperature in original packaging and Petri dishes. Physical tests were conducted to standards as laid down in the British Pharmacopoeia 2005, and dissolution to those of the United States Pharmacopoeia volume 24. Chemical stability was assessed by a validated high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. Results: Tablets at room temperature in original packaging, in compliance aids and Petri dishes remained the same in appearance and passed physico-chemical tests. Tablets exposed to 40°C with 75% relative humidity in compliance aids passed tests for uniformity of weight, friability and chemical stability but became pale and moist, softer (82 newtons ± 4; p< 0.0001) than tablets in the original packaging (118 newtons ± 6), more friable (0.14% loss of mass) compared with other tablets (0.005%), and failed the tests for disintegration (>15 minutes) and dissolution (only 15% atenolol released at 30 minutes). Conclusion: Although chemical stability was unaffected, storage in compliance aids at 40°C with 75% relative humidity softened atenolol tablets, prolonged disintegration time and hindered dissolution which could significantly reduce bioavailability. This formulation could be suitable for storage in compliance aids at 25°C, but not in hotter, humid weather.