A capillary electrophoresis (CE) method has been developed that allows the separation and estimation of primaquine enantiomers using hydroxypropyl-gamma-cyclodextrin (HP-gamma -CD) as a chiral selector. The influence of chemical and instrumental parameters on the separation, such as type and concentration of CD, buffer concentration, buffer pH, applied voltage, capillary temperature, and injection time, were investigated. Good separation of the racemic mixture of primaquine was achieved using a fused-silica capillary (52.5 cm effective length x 50 microm id) and a background electrolyte composed of tris-phosphate buffer solution (50 mM, pH 2.5) containing 15 mM HP-gamma-CD as a chiral selector. The recommended applied voltage, capillary temperature, and injection time were 15 kV, 25 degrees C, and 6 s, respectively. Within-day and interday reproducibility of peak area and migration time gave relative standard deviation values ranging from 1.05-3.30%. Good recoveries (range of 96.8-104.9%) were obtained from the determination of placebos that were spiked with 0.25-1.00 mg/L primaquine. The proposed CE method was successfully applied to the assay of primaquine diphosphate in pharmaceutical formulations (tablets).
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