Chromatography of Commercial Analgesics

Topics: Thin layer chromatography, Chromatography, Chemical polarity Pages: 6 (1868 words) Published: March 5, 2011
Chromatographic Analysis of a Commercial Analgesic’s Active Component

I. Abstract
This study on Chromatographic Analysis of a Commercial Analgesic’s Active Component seeks to separate, identify, quantify and analyze the active component found in Biogesic®, which may be useful for public awareness despite its wide acceptance and availability in the market. Furthermore, this study applies thin layer chromatography (TLC) technique since it is the simplest, cheapest yet most effective approach in terms to the study’s objectives. The TLC method implies Rf (Rate of flow) values where it is given by the distance from origin to center of subtance spot over the distance from origin to solvent front. As a result, the TLC analysis of Biogesic® yields the following Rf values where the given distance from origin to solvent front measures 59 mm: 1.) acetaminophen has a Rf value of 0.48; 2.) aspirin has a Rf value of 0.64; 3.) caffeine has a Rf value of 0.22; 4.) Biogesic® sample has a Rf value of 0.48 ; 5.) ibuprofen has a Rf value of 0.73; and 6.) mefenamic Acid has a Rf value of 0.76. Thus, the study shows that by having equal Rf values of about 0.48, Biogesic®’s most active component is acetaminophen (paracetamol), a relatively polar compound having a molecular formula C8H9NO2(MW= 151.1626). [1] II. Introduction

Analgesics (also referred to as painkillers) are any member of the group of drugs used to relieve pain. The relief that analgesics bring in alleviating pain occurs either by obstructing the pain signals that are to be transmitted by the peripheral nervous system’s receptors to the central nervous system or by interfering with the interpretation of pain signals transmitted to the brain’s central nervous system, without causing any loss of consciousness. However, it must be noted that analgesics are distinct from anesthetics since they do not reversibly eliminate sensation. [2]

Analgesics may be purely made of a single component or two (e.g. plain aspirin or ibuprofen with mefenamic acid), or may be a combination of other several components (e.g. acetaminophen together with mefenamic acid and ibuprofen). Basically, components of analgesics are of two kinds, these are the narcotics and the non-narcotics[3]. The narcotic agents (e.g. Ibuprofen) regularly recognized for bringing adverse narcotic effects (e.g. drowsiness) can also be subdivided further into two groups; the opiates (e.g. morphine, codeine and thebaine) which are alkaloids of opium; and the opioids (e.g. oxycodone and hydrocodone) which is any synthetic narcotic that resembles the naturally occurring opiates. In contrast to the narcotic forms, the non-narcotic forms of analgesics are simply opposed to the adverse effects that narcotic forms bring; acetaminophen, aspirin and mefenamic acid are common compounds found in most analgesics of this kind.

Moreover, active components of an analgesic can be readily separated and analyzed, or may be identifed and quantified, by employing easy and reliable techniques. Perhaps, one of the best methods ever available to be performed in most laboratories (after the first successful separation of pigments of leaf extracts through a column packed with a chalk by Russian chemist Mikhail Tsweet) is thin layer chromatography (TLC), a versatile technique used for the examination and chemical separation of complex mixtures which is based upon the rates at which the components of a mixture are carried through a stationary phase by a mobile phase, also it basically involves the separation of mixtures due to differences in the distribution coefficient(equilibrium distribution) of sample components between two different phases, hence the simplicity and rapidity of this technique allows it to be regularly used to monitor progress of organic reactions and to check purity of products.

In view of the fact that thin layer chromatography deeply allows one aiming to identify (Qualitative Analysis) and quantify (Quantitative Analysis),...
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