Author(s): Clayton BHymer
The purpose of this brief review is to describe and discuss some of the current analytic procedures including gas-chromatographic and alternative techniques for residual solvent testing. Residual solvents, or organic volatile impurities, are a potential toxic risk for pharmaceutic products and have been a concern of manufacturers for many years. Residual solvents have had official limits in the United States as set in USP XXV and by the FDA in 1997 and have been monitored by most pharmaceutical manufacturers extensively for more than two decades in both bulk and finished products. The chief method of analysis for residual solvents is gas chromatography, which is generally considered the preferred methodology. Sample introduction techniques include both static and dynamic headspace analysis, solid-phase microextraction, and direct injection of solution containing bulk drug substance or drug product into the gas chromatograph. Also, some alternative methodologies for residual solvent testing are discussed in this review. In conclusion, gas chromatograph-based procedures will continue to dominate residual solvent testing because of its specificity for identification of the solvent, but the use of alternative sample introduction techniques into a gas chromatograph will continue to expand in the near future.