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Basic Concepts of Pharmaceutical Analysis

Pharmaceutical Analysis

Pharmaceutical analysis is the study of the analysis of drug samples to determine the chemical composition and amount of the drug in the sample.
Analytical chemistry is a much broader area and it can be split into two main types.
Basic Concepts of Pharmaceutical Analysis

Qualitative analysis

The qualitative inorganic analysis seeks to establish the presence of a given element or inorganic compound in a sample while organic analysis seeks to establish the presence of a given functional group or organic compound in a sample.

Quantitative analysis

The quantitative analysis seeks to establish the amount of a given element or compound in a sample.
The types of analysis techniques conform with the various types of energy.

1. Spectroscopic Analysis

Spectroscopy measures the interaction of the material with electromagnetic radiation

2. Electrochemical Analysis

Electrochemistry measures the interaction of the material with an electric eld.

3. Mass Analysis

The gravimetric analysis measures the interaction of the material and a gravitational eld. Mass spectrometry measures the interaction of charged materials and electric and magnetic fields.

4. Thermal Analysis

Calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis measure the interaction of material and heat.

Types of Analysis.

Inorganic analysis: Deals with the identification and determination of various elements present in the sample E.g – Ca, Cl, Mg, Al.
Organic analysis: Determination of groups of atoms COOH (carboxylic acid), OH in organic material.
Complete analysis: Detection and determination of all components present in the sample.
Partial analysis: Determine only a few components present in the sample.

Conductivity: conductivity of water and purity of water solubility of salt.
Polarography: Quantitative and qualitative organic and inorganic analysis vitamin k, chloramphenicol to analyze it even concentration.
Development of new products: It also requires analytical chemist.
In hospitals: used for diagnosis of illness or disease.
Geologist: Analysis or determine the groundwater minerals.
Agriculture: Determine the composition of the soil.
Manufacturing industry: Both quantitative and qualitative.

Various methods of analysis.

1. Chemical method.
  • Volumetric method
  • Gasometric method
  • Gravimetric method.
2. Physico-chemical method or instrumental method.
3.Microbiological method.
4. Biological method.


1. Chemical method

a) Volumetric method

The volumetric method is also known as the titrimetric method. measurements of the volume are called Volumetric analysis. Based on the measurement of the volume of a solution of known strength.
The volumetric method is classified as
  • Neutralization (acid -base ) titration.
  • Non-aqueous titration.
  • Precipitation titration.
  • Oxidation-Reduction titration.
  • Complexometric titration ( formation of a coloured complex which indicates endpoint of reaction)

b) Gravimetric method

Measurements of weight. Gravi means Gravity, metric means measurements. It is a time-consuming method than Volumetric.

C) Gasometric method

Measurements of the volume of gas . for eg.  Co2, Nitrogen, He, Nitrogen oxide.

2. Physicochemical method / Instrumental method

It is a relation between content and physicochemical elements and properties.
Physical properties and Instruments
1. Electrical potential – Potentiometry
2. Electrical conductance – Conductometry
3. Electrical current- Polarography/ Voltametry
4. Absorption of radiation – Spectrophotometry
5. Emission of radiation – Flame photometry
6. Scattering of radiation –  Turbisimetry
7. Refraction of radiation – Refractometer
8. Rotation of plane Polarised light – Polarimeter