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  • 1 Key Laboratory of Chinese Drugs Pharmaceutics of Guang Dong Province, School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, 510515, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China
  • | 2 Chifeng Aike Pharmaceutical Technology Co., Ltd., 024001, Chifeng, People's Republic of China
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Summary

A rapid, simple, and practical high-performance liquid chromatographic method (HPLC) was developed and validated for the simultaneous determination of norephedrine (NME), norpseudoephedrine (NMP), ephedrine (E), pseudoephedrine (PE), and methylephedrine (ME) in traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) which contained Ephedrae Herba (Ephedra). This analysis could be accomplished within 12.5 min with an Alltima Phenyl Column by isocratic elution using a mixture of KH2PO4 (20 mM)-acetonitrile (96:4, v/v) as the mobile phase at a flow-rate of 0.6 mL min−1 and a wavelength of 210 nm. This method was successfully applied to quantify ephedra alkaloids in both Ma-xing-gan-shi decoction and Ephedra decoction. The concentration of total ephedra alkaloids (4.62 mg mL−1) in Ma-xing-gan-shi decoction was much lower than that (7.10 mg mL−1) in Ephedra decoction. Furthermore, the concentration of NME, NMP, E, PE, and ME was significantly lower in Ma-xing-gan-shi decoction than that in Ephedra decoction, respectively. The method was easily acceptable and would be popular with most analytical laboratories.

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