Simultaneous Determination of Paracetamol, Propyphenazone and Caffeine in Presence of Paracetamol Impurities Using Dual-Mode Gradient HPLC and TLC Densitometry Methods

J Chromatogr Sci. 2021 Jan 14;59(2):140-147. doi: 10.1093/chromsci/bmaa088.


Two chromatographic methods were validated for the determination of the widely prescribed analgesic and antipyretic drug combination of paracetamol (PC) (recently integrated into the supportive treatment of COVID-19), propyphenazone (PZ) and caffeine (CF) in the presence of two PC impurities, namely 4-aminophenol and 4-nitrophenol. A "dual-mode" gradient high-performance liquid chromatography method was developed, where the separation was achieved via "dual-mode" gradient by changing both the ternary mobile phase composition (acetonitrile: methanol: water) and the flow rate. This enables a good resolution within a relatively shorter analysis time. The analysis was realized using Zorbax Eclipse XDB column C18, 5 μm (250 × 4.6 mm) and the UV detector was set at 220 nm. The other method is a thin-layer chromatography densitometry method, where the separation was achieved using a mobile phase composed of chloroform: toluene: ethyl acetate: methanol: acetic acid (6: 6: 1: 2: 0.1, by volume). Densitometric detection was performed at 220 nm on silica gel 60 F254 plates. The developed methods were fully validated as per the ICH guidelines and proved to be accurate, robust, specific and suitable for application as purity indicating methods for routine analysis of PC in pure form or in pharmaceuticals with PZ and CF in quality control laboratories.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / analysis*
  • Aminophenols / analysis
  • Antipyrine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Antipyrine / analysis
  • Caffeine / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer / methods*
  • Codeine / analysis
  • Densitometry / methods
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Contamination
  • Limit of Detection
  • Meprobamate / analysis
  • Nitrophenols / analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Tablets / analysis


  • Aminophenols
  • Drug Combinations
  • Nitrophenols
  • Solvents
  • Stopayne
  • Tablets
  • Acetaminophen
  • Caffeine
  • Meprobamate
  • propyphenazone
  • 4-aminophenol
  • Antipyrine
  • Codeine
  • 4-nitrophenol