Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Users online: 118
Scientific Publication of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association
Home Email this page Print this page Bookmark this page Decrease font size Default font size Increase font size
The Journal Search Current Issue Archives Instructions Online submission Login  

Year : 2010  |  Volume : 72  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 204-210
Stability indicating RP-HPLC method for simultaneous determination of simvastatin and ezetimibe from tablet dosage form

1 Department of Pharmaceutics, Bombay College of Pharmacy, Kalina, Santacruz (E), Mumbai-400 098, India
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Bombay College of Pharmacy, Kalina, Santacruz (E), Mumbai-400 098, India

Date of Submission12-Aug-2009
Date of Decision27-Nov-2009
Date of Acceptance14-Feb-2010
Date of Web Publication1-Jul-2010

Correspondence Address:
M S Nagarsenker
Department of Pharmaceutics, Bombay College of Pharmacy, Kalina, Santacruz (E), Mumbai-400 098
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0250-474X.65028

Get Permissions


A simple, specific and sensitive reverse phase high performance liquid chromatographic method was developed and validated for simultaneous determination of ezetimibe and simvastatin from pharmaceutical dosage forms. The method uses C18 ODS Hypersil column and isocratic elution. The mobile phase composed of acetonitrile:phosphate buffer (pH 4.5, 0.01M) in the ratio of 65:35 v/v was used at a flow rate of 1.0 ml /min. UV detector was programmed at 232 nm for first 10 min and at 238 nm for 10 to 20 min. All the validation parameters were in acceptable range. The developed method was effectively applied to quantitate amount of ezetimibe and simvastatin from tablets. The method was also applied suitably for determining the degradation products of ezetimibe and simvastatin.

Keywords: Ezetimibe, reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography, simvastatin, stress degradation, tablets

How to cite this article:
Dixit R P, Barhate C R, Padhye S G, Viswanathan C L, Nagarsenker M S. Stability indicating RP-HPLC method for simultaneous determination of simvastatin and ezetimibe from tablet dosage form. Indian J Pharm Sci 2010;72:204-10

How to cite this URL:
Dixit R P, Barhate C R, Padhye S G, Viswanathan C L, Nagarsenker M S. Stability indicating RP-HPLC method for simultaneous determination of simvastatin and ezetimibe from tablet dosage form. Indian J Pharm Sci [serial online] 2010 [cited 2016 Feb 9];72:204-10. Available from:

Simvastatin (SMV) is -(+)-{1S,3R,7S,8S,8aR)-1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 8a-hexahydro-3,7-dimethyl-8-[2-(2R,4R)-tetrahydro-4-hydroxy-6-oxo-2H-pyran-2-yl]-I-naphthyl-2,2-dimethyl butanoate [Figure 1]. It acts by inhibiting HMG CoA reductase and is used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. After oral administration, this prodrug is converted into β hydroxy acid of simvastatin, which is a potent inhibitor of HMG CoA reductase, a key enzyme required for the synthesis of cholesterol in liver[1] .

Ezetimibe (EZE) is [(3R,4S)-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-[(3S)-3-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-hydroxypropyl]-4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-azetidinone] [Figure 1]. It is a selective cholesterol absorption inhibitor used in the treatment of primary hypercholesterolemia. It inhibits the absorption of biliary and dietary cholesterol from small intestine without affecting absorption of fat soluble vitamins, triglycerides and bile acids. After oral administration, EZE is metabolized into its glucuronide in the liver and small intestine, which is also active in prevention of absorption of cholesterol. EZE does not have significant pharmacokinetic interactions with other lipid lowering drugs as it does not influence the activity of cyotochrome P450. EZE is administered at the dose of 10 mg with and without SMV [2] . Both the drugs are marketed as a combination therapy in USA as a trade name Vytorin™ for treatment of hyperlipidemia.

SMV alone can be estimated by various methods reported in the literature such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV detection [3] , liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectroscopy [4] , UV spectrophotometry [5] . HPLC method for determination of EZE from pharmaceutical dosage form has been reported in the literature [6] . Reports are available which describe a stability indicating method for determination of SMV as well as for EZE with its degradation products and impurities [7],[8] . Simultaneous determination of SMV and EZE from pharmaceutical dosage form by dual mode gradient liquid chromatography was also reported [9] . The method involved use of C8 column and elution was accomplished by the application of a dual-mode solvent and flow-rate gradient system. Detection was carried out using a diode-array detector set at 240 nm. A Stability indicating HPTLC method for simultaneous estimation of SMV and EZE was also reported [10] .

The present work is aimed at development of a sensitive, specific and validated reverse phase high performance liquid chromatographic method for simultaneous determination of SMV and EZE from the dosage form and its degradation products formed under stress degradation of both SMV and EZE.

   Materials and Methods Top

Simvastatin was donated by Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Mumbai, India. Ezetimibe was generously gifted by Lupin Pharmaceutical Ltd., Pune, India. Acetonitrile (HPLC grade) was purchased from Qualigens fine chemicals, Mumbai, India. Distilled, 0.45 μm filtered water used for HPLC analysis and preparation of buffer. Buffers and all other chemicals were analytical grade. The chromatographic system consisted of the following components all from Jasco corporation (Tokyo, Japan): A UV/Vis detector (UV 2075 plus) covering the range of 200-400 nm and interfaced to a computer for data acquisition and a recorder model Star 800 interface module. A PU 2080 plus solvent delivery system, a Rheodyne, 50 μl loop injector. An ODS Hypersil column (250Χ4.6 mm, 5 μm) was used (Thermo Electron Corporation, USA) and mixture of acetonitrile and phosphate buffer (pH 4.5, 0.01M) in the proportion of 65:35 v/v was used as mobile phase at 1.0 ml/min. The column was maintained at ambient temperature. Detector was programmed at 232 nm for detection of EZE for 10 min and 238 nm for detection of SMV from 10 min to 20 min.

Stock solution and calibration standard sample:

A stock solution was prepared by dissolving accurately weighed 25 mg of SMV and EZE in a 25 ml volumetric flask to obtain 1 mg/ml solution using HPLC grade methanol. The stock solution was diluted suitably with methanol to obtain concentrations in the range of 2 to 10 μg/ml and calibration curves were plotted.

System suitability:

The system suitability was assessed using five replicate analyses of drugs at concentration of 2 μg/ml. The acceptance criterion was ±2 % of coefficient of variation (% CV) for retention times and peak areas for both drugs.

Detection and quantitation limits:

Limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantitation (LOQ) were obtained from signal to noise ratio. The detection limit was defined as the lowest concentration level resulting in a peak area of three times the baseline noise. The quantitation limit was defined as the lowest concentration level that provided a peak area with a signal-to-noise ratio higher than 10.

Accuracy and precision:

Accuracy of the assay method was determined for both intra-day and inter-day variations using the triplicate analysis of drugs at three concentrations viz. 2 μg/ml, 6 μg/ml and 10 μg/ml. These samples are denoted as QC samples. Precision of the assay was determined by repeatability (intra-day) and intermediate precision (interday) in triplicate. Repeatability refers to the use of the analytical procedure over a short period of time that was evaluated by assaying the QC samples during the same day. Intermediate precision was assessed by comparing the assays on different days (3 days).


Specificity of the method was determined by subjecting the sample solution (5 mg/ml) to degradation after addition of pH 7.4 buffer in order to verify that none of the degradation products interfered with the quantitation of drug.

Stress degradation studies:

Stress testing of the drug substance can help identify the likely degradation products, stability of the molecule and also validate the stability and specificity of the analytical procedures. For degradation studies, solutions of drugs in methanol containing 1000 μg/ml were mixed with 0.1N HCl, pH 7.4 phosphate buffer and 10% H 2 O 2 to obtain the concentration of drug 5 μg/ml. The solution mixed with H 2 O 2 was heated at 60 for 30 min, solution mixed with 0.1N HCl and phosphate buffer pH 7.4 solutions were kept at room temperature for degradation to occur. Fifty microlitres of the solutions were injected in HPLC and analyzed.

Application of method to dosage form:

The developed and validated HPLC method was applied for determination of SMV and EZE from dosage forms. SMV and EZE tablets of 10 mg strength from Ranbaxy Labs (Simvotin TM EZ 10) were evaluated for SMV and EZE content in tablets. The tablets were powdered and powder equivalent to 10 mg of drugs was weighed. The weighed samples were placed in extraction flask and methanol was added to extract the drug. The suspension was sonicated for 10 min and stirred using a CM 101 cyclomixer (Remi Equipments, Mumbai, India). The mixture was centrifuged using Minispin centrifuge (Eppendorf, Germany) for 10 min at 10, 000 rpm. The supernatant was diluted suitably to obtain 10 μg/ml concentration of both drugs. The solutions were injected into HPLC and analyzed for drug content.

   Results and Discussion Top

Both SMV and EZE have limited aqueous solubilities hence methanol was used for the extraction of drugs from the formulations and for preparation of stock solutions. EZE and SMV have λmax at 232 nm and 238 nm respectively, so HPLC analysis was done at 232 nm for EZE and 238 nm for SMV. Mobile phase optimization was initiated using ACN and phosphate buffer pH 4.5 at the flow rate of 1.5 ml/min [11] . The flow rate was decreased from 1.5 ml/min to 1.0 ml/min to resolve the degradation product from main drug peaks. The peak shape and separation was found to be good when a mobile phase composition of 65:35 (v/v, acetonitrile:phosphate buffer pH 4.5) was used at the flow rate of 1.0 ml/min. Although a HPLC gradient method using diode-array detector has been reported for the determination of SMV and EZE from pharmaceutical dosage form, the above developed method has few advantages on the reported method [9] . The method developed above is simple, uses isocratic flow system and UV detector for detection of drug. The chromatograms are given in the [Figure 2].

The calibration curve constructed was evaluated by its correlation coefficient. The peak area was linear in the range of 2 to 10 μg/ml [Table 1]. The correlation coefficients for both the calibration plots of drugs were more than 0.9995.

The percent CV of retention time for both the drugs was less than 0.3 % indicating high stability of the system. The percent CV of peak area was with in the range of 2 % limit signifying suitability of the system [Table 2]. The USP tailing factor was 1.205±0.4 (mean±% CV) for EZE and 1.049±0.3 (mean±% CV) for SMV.

[Figure 2] shows the chromatogram of methanol devoid of drugs, standard concentrations of SMV and EZE and LOQ of drugs. The method was inferred to be sensitive as evident from triplicate injections for LOQ [Table 2]. The % CV was 1.27 % for EZE and 7.63% for SMV, respectively.

The accuracy and precision calculated for samples during intra day and inter day run are given in [Table 3]. The intra day accuracy ranged from -2.09 % to 0.18 % and percent coefficient of variation for precision from 0.72 % to 2.80 %. The results obtained from intermediate precision (inter-day) also indicated a good method precision. All the data were in the acceptable range of criteria of 5%.

In the chosen chromatographic condition, specificity was indicated by absence of interference at retention times of peaks of interest. The specificity of method is given in [Figure 3]. The degradation products of both drugs did not interfere with the retention times of both drugs.

The HPLC method developed was also useful for the determination of degradation products formed when the drugs were treated with acid, phosphate buffer pH 7.4 and hydrogen peroxide. The previously reported method was not applied for the separation of degradation products from the parent drugs and no method has been reported for the same [9] . Individual drugs were exposed to acid, phosphate buffer pH 7.4 and H 2 O 2 to confirm the assignment peaks observed due to degradation of SMV/EZE in the chromatogram of SMV and EZE mixture (data not shown). The stress testing involved effect of heat, oxidation and pH on the stability of drug in solution. When 0.1 N NaOH was used, SMV and EZE were completely degraded in 30 min even when stored at room temperature and no drug peaks were seen. Hence phosphate buffer pH 7.4 was used as a medium for degradation. Duration of 30 min was sufficient to form the degradation products without losing the drug peaks. In this case EZE degradation peak was detected following the peak of EZE, which was distinctly separated from EZE peak [Figure 3]. Two peaks of SMV degradants were observed. The major degradation peak of SMV was eluted at 8 min and second degradation peak was eluted at 16 min. The tailing factor of all the peaks was less than 2 [Table 4] and [Table 5]. These degradation peaks were also observed when SMV solution was exposed to acid. No additional peak was observed when EZE was treated with 0.1N HCl. In acidic conditions, EZE remained stable and the content of EZE was in the range of 95% - 105%. In case of oxidative degradation there was a significant decrease in peak area of SMV with no additional peak of degradant, indicating that SMV was degraded to a great extent by oxidation. There was no significant change in peak area of EZE and no degradation product was observed which indicates EZE is stable to oxidative stress.

The method was used for determination of both the drugs from pharmaceutical dosage form. Tablets containing EZE and SMV of Ranbaxy labs (Simvotin TM EZ 10) were evaluated for content of SMV and EZE. The product was analyzed in triplicate [Table 6]. None of the tablet ingredients interfered with the analysis of both the drugs as seen in [Figure 4].

A rapid, simple and specific reverse phase HPLC method has been developed for simultaneous determination of EZE and SMV from tablet dosage form. The method was validated for accuracy, precision, linearity. Application of this method for simultaneous determination of SMV and EZE from tablet dosage form showed that neither the degradation product nor the excipients interfere with the determination.

   Acknowledgements Top

The authors wish to acknowledge Amrut Modi Research Foundation for providing financial support for this work.

   References Top

1.Patil P, Patil V, Paradkar A. Formulation of a self-emulsifying system for oral delivery of simvastatin: In vitro and in vivo evaluation. Acta Pharm 2007;57:111-22.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Kosoglou T, Statkevich P, Johnson-Levonas AO, Paolini JF, Bergman AJ, Alton KB. Ezetimibe: a review of its metabolism, pharmacokinetics and drug interactions. Clin Pharmacokinet 2005;44:467-94.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Alvarez-Lueje A, Valenzuela C, Squella JA, Nϊρez-Vergara LJ. Stability study of simvastatin under hydrolytic conditions assessed by liquid chromatography. J AOAC Int 2005;88:1631-6.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Wang L, Asgharnejad M. Second-derivative UV spectrometric determination of simvastatin in its tablet dosage form J Pharm Biomed Anal 2000;21:1243-8.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Vuletiζ M, Cindriζ M, Koruznjak JD. Identification of unknown impurities in simvastatin substance and tablets by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. J Pharm Biomed Anal 2005;37:715-21.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Sistla R, Tata VS, Kashyap YV, Chandrasekar D, Diwan PV. Development and validation of a reversed-phase HPLC method for the determination of ezetimibe in pharmaceutical dosage forms. J Pharm Biomed Anal 2005;39:517-22.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.Singh S, Singh B, Bahuguna R, Wadhwa L, Saxena R. Stress degradation studies on ezetimibe and development of a validated stability-indicating HPLC assay. J Pharm Biomed Anal 2006;41: 1037-40.  Back to cited text no. 7      
8.Andelija M, Darko I, Mirjana M, Biljana J, Slavko M. Influence of structural and interfacial properties of microemulsion eluent on chromatographic separation of simvastatin and its impurities. J Chromatogr A 2006;1131:67-73.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Φzaltύn N, Uηaktόrk E. Simultaneous determination of ezetimibe and simvastatin in pharmaceutical formulations by dual-mode gradient LC. Chromatographia 2007;66:S87 S91.  Back to cited text no. 9      
10.Dixit RP, Barhate CR, Nagarsenker MS. Stability-Indicating HPTLC method for simultaneous determination of ezetimibe and simvastatin. Chromatographia 2008;67:101-7.  Back to cited text no. 10      
11.USP 29/NF 24, The United States Pharmacopoeia, 29 th Rev. and the National Formulary, 24th ed. Rockville, MD: United States Pharmacopoeial Convention Inc., 2006. p. 1964-6.  Back to cited text no. 11      


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]

This article has been cited by
1 Development and validation of a novel stability-indicating HPLC method for the quantitative determination of eleven related substances in ezetimibe drug substance and drug product
Zhiqiang Luo,Zhongqing Deng,Yang Liu,Guopeng Wang,Wenning Yang,Chengbo Hou,Minming Tang,Ruirui Yang,Huaming Zhou
Talanta. 2015; 139: 67
2 Application of Quality by Design for the Optimization of an HPLC Method to Determine Ezetimibe in a Supersaturable Self-Nanoemulsifying Formulation
Rajendra Narayan Dash,Mohammed Habibuddin,Touseef Humaira,Ayyub Ali Patel
Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies. 2015; 38(8): 874
3 Enhanced permeation parameters of optimized nanostructured simvastatin transdermal films:ex vivoandin vivoevaluation
Khalid M. El-Say,Tarek A. Ahmed,Shaimaa M. Badr-Eldin,Usama Fahmy,Hibah Aldawsari,Osama A. A. Ahmed
Pharmaceutical Development and Technology. 2014; : 1
4 UPLC versus HPLC on Drug Analysis: Advantageous, Applications and Their Validation Parameters
Mehmet Gumustas,Sevinc Kurbanoglu,Bengi Uslu,Sibel A. Ozkan
Chromatographia. 2013; 76(21-22): 1365
5 Development and Validation of Stability-Indicating Assay Method by UPLC for a Fixed Dose Combination of Atorvastatin and Ezetimibe
A. Goel,S. Baboota,J. K. Sahni,K. S. Srinivas,R. S. Gupta,A. Gupta,V. P. Semwal,J. Ali
Journal of Chromatographic Science. 2013; 51(3): 222
6 RP-HPLC-UV Determination of ezetimibe in serum: Method development, validation and application to patients chronically receiving the drug
D. Suchy,K. Labuzek,O. Pierzchala,B. Okopien
Acta Chromatographica. 2013; 25(3): 483
7 Microemulsion Liquid Chromatographic Method for Simultaneous Determination of Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Their Combined Dosage Forms
Mohammed E. A. Hammouda,Mohamed A. Abu El-Enin,Dina T. El-Sherbiny,Dalia R. El-Wasseef,Saadia M. El-Ashry
Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry. 2013; 2013: 1
8 Evaluation of stability of 5-fluorouracil under different stress conditions: High performance liquid chromatography and infrared spectroscopic approach
Yadav, N., Singh, P., Mehrotra, R.
Current Pharmaceutical Analysis. 2012; 8(1): 49-55
9 Simvastatin: Review of updates on recent trends in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug-drug interaction, impurities and analytical methods
Basniwal, P.K., Jain, D.
Current Pharmaceutical Analysis. 2012; 8(2): 135-156
10 Simultaneous determination and validation of pitavastatin calcium and Ezetimibe in binary mixture by liquid chromatography
Panchal, H., Suhagia, B.N.
International Journal of PharmTech Research. 2011; 3(4): 2155-2161
11 Ezetimibe (book)
Lestari, M.L.A.D., Ardiana, F., Indrayanto, G.
Profiles of Drug Substances, Excipients and Related Methodology. 2011; 36: 103-149


Print this article  Email this article
   Next article
   Previous article 
   Table of Contents
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Article in PDF (915 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Materials and Me...
    Results and Disc...
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded424    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 11    

Recommend this journal