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Determination of parabens in expectorant syrup of pediatric use

Grant number: 16/23656-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2017
Effective date (End): January 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy - Medicines Analysis and Control
Principal Investigator:Alessandra Vincenzi Jager
Grantee:Maria da Graça Landim Bravo
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Parabens are a family of synthetic esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid and are used as preservatives in food, cosmetics and topical and systemic medications. The most common are methylparaben (MP), ethylparaben (EP), propylparaben (PP) and butylparaben (BP). These compounds have advantages such as low cost, wide spectrum of activity and thermal and chemical stability. Despite being considered of low toxicity, there is evidence that some parabens have activity as endocrine disruptors. These observations, together with the widespread application of parabens, have led to regulation of these preservatives in commercial products by national and international organizations. In Brazil, ANVISA regulates the use of parabens in cosmetics and food, but there is no legislation regarding the use of these preservatives in pharmaceuticals. The aim of this project is to determine the concentration of methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben in samples of expectorant syrups intended for pediatric use (n = 100) containing as active principle ambroxol, acetylcysteine and carbocysteine using capillary electrophoresis as analytical technique. The values obtained will be compared with the maximum concentrations established for medicines by international organs and later used in calculations for evaluation of the exposure of children from 2 to 10 years to parabens due to the use of these drugs. (AU)

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