Effect of pH on disintegration and dissolution of ketoconazole tablets

Am J Hosp Pharm. 1983 Aug;40(8):1334-6.


The effect of pH on the in vitro disintegration, dissolution, and solubility of ketoconazole tablets was studied. One 200-mg ketoconazole tablet was added to each of five different buffer solutions having pH values of 2 to 6;900 ml of each solution containing the ketoconazole was placed in a stationary basket dissolution device and stirred at 500 rpm at 37 degrees C for 60 minutes. Single 1-ml samples of each solution were obtained at 1,3, and 5 minutes after addition of the drug, and then every 5 minutes for the duration of the sampling period. This same procedure was repeated using two 200-mg tablets in the buffer solution at pH 3. The effect of pH on ketoconazole solubility was studied by gradually increasing the pH of a ketoconazole solution at pH 3 to pH 10. Samples of this solution were analyzed periodically after allowing a short period for equilibration of pH. All samples were assayed spectrophotometrically against blanks, and concentrations were determined by comparison with a standard curve. Disintegration of ketoconazole tablets occurred within 5 minutes in each buffer solution and was unaffected by pH. At pH 2 and 3, dissolution of ketoconazole was greater than 85% complete after five minutes, and all ketoconazole had dissolved after 30 minutes. As pH increased, the rate and extent of dissolution slowed; only 10% of ketoconazole was dissolved after 60 minutes at pH 6. Ketoconazole precipitated rapidly from solution as the pH of the dissolution medium exceeded 5.5. There was no difference in the rate or extent of dissolution of ketoconazole for the two doses studied at pH 3. In the buffer solutions tested, dissolution but not disintegration of ketoconazole tablets is pH-dependent. Dissolution characteristics of 200- and 400-mg doses of ketoconazole are similar at pH 3.

MeSH terms

  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Imidazoles* / administration & dosage
  • Ketoconazole
  • Piperazines* / administration & dosage
  • Solubility
  • Tablets
  • Time Factors


  • Imidazoles
  • Piperazines
  • Tablets
  • Ketoconazole