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Paper | Regular issue | Vol 106, No. 3, 2023, pp.455-464
Published online, 8th February, 2023
DOI: 10.3987/COM-23-14804
Sulfate Radical Anion (SO4˙ˉ) Mediated Degradation of Some Over-the-Counter Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) at Neutral pH in Aqueous Environment

Joydev K. Laha,* Neelam Manral, Sagar Badoni, Mandeep Kaur Hunjan, and Upma Gulati

*Department of Pharmaceutical Technology (Process Chemistry), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, S. A. S. Nagar, Punjab 160062, India


The degradation of some common NSAIDs containing an arylacetic acid moiety via thermal oxidative decarboxylation using potassium persulfate (K2S2O8) in water at 80 °C has been investigated. A neutral pH condition is critical for efficient degradation of the drugs yielding the degraded products (corresponding carbonyl compounds). The drugs remain unaffected at lower (2-3) or higher pH (9-10). Unlike the common practice of identification of pharmaceutical degradation products by LC-MS data, the current report unveils major degradation products through isolation and identification using standard analytical techniques. The mechanism of the formation of degradation products via a radical pathway is discussed. The current report on NSAIDs degradation features a rare study in the contemporary pharmaceutical degradation dispersed in the literature.