An HPLC-UV method was developed and validated for the determination of lumefantrine in human plasma. Lumefantrine and its internal standard halofantrine were extracted from plasma samples using protein precipitation with acetonitrile (0.2% perchloric acid) followed by solid-phase extraction with Hypersep C(8) cartridges. Chromatographic separation was performed on a Zorbax SB-CN HPLC column (3.0 x 150 mm, 3.5 microm) with water/methanol (0.1% TFA) as the mobile phases in a gradient elution mode. Detection was performed using UV/vis detector at lambda = 335 nm. The method showed to be linear over a range of 50-10,000 ng/mL with acceptable intra- and inter-day precision and accuracy. The mean recoveries were 88.2% for lumefatrine and 84.5% for the I.S. The internal standard halofantrine is readily available from commercial sources. This method was successfully applied to a pharmacokinetic interaction study between a first-line antimalarial combination (artemether-lumefantrine) and antiretroviral therapy.
Keywords: HPLC-UV; SPE; halofantrine; lumefantrine; protein precipitation.