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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2004 June; 5(2): 9–16.
Published online 2004 March 12. doi:  10.1208/pt050226
PMCID: PMC2750461

Effects of water vapor absorption on the physical and chemical stability of amorphous sodium indomethacin


This study reports on the effects that water absorbed into amorphous sodium indomethacin (NaIMC) can have on simultaneous tendencies to crystallize to its trihydrate form and to undergo base-catalyzed hydrolysis because of the plasticizing effects of water on molecular mobility. Measurement of water vapor absorption at 30°C and powder x-ray diffraction patterns as a function of relative humidity (RH) reveal that upon exposure to 21% RH, NaIMC does not crystallize over a 2-month period. Measurements of the glass transition temperature as a function of such exposure reveals a change in Tg from 121°C, dry, to 53°C at 21% RH, such that Tg at 21% RH is ≈13°C above the highest storage temperature of 40°C used in the study. At 56% RH and higher, however, crystallization to the trihydrate occurs rapidly; although over the 2-month period, crystallization was never complete. Assessment of chemical degradation by high-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed significant instability at 21% RH; whereas at higher RH, the extent of chemical degradation was reduced, reflecting the greater crystallization to the more chemically stable crystalline form. It is concluded that when amorphous forms of salts occur in solid dosage forms, the simultaneous effects of enhanced water vapor sorption on crystallization and chemical degradation must be considered, particularly when assessing solid-state chemical degradation at higher temperatures and RH (eg, 40°C 75% RH).

Keywords: water vapor sorption, amorphous, sodium indomethacin, chemical degradation, crystallization

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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