Paliperidone is a new antipsychotic drug with a relatively low therapeutic concentration of 20-60 ng/mL. We established an accurate and sensitive CE method for the determination of paliperidone concentrations in human plasma in this study. To minimize matrix effect caused by quantification errors, paliperidone was extracted from human plasma using Oasis HLB SPE cartridges with three-step washing procedure. To achieve sensitive quantification of paliperidone in human plasma, a high-conductivity sample solution with sweeping-MEKC method was applied for analysis. The separation is performed in a BGE composed of 75 mM phosphoric acid, 100 mM SDS, 12% acetonitrile, and 15% tetrahydrofuran. Sample solution consisted of 10% methanol in 250 mM phosphoric acid and the conductivity ratio between sample matrix and BGE was 2.0 (γ, sample/BGE). The results showed it able to detect paliperidone in plasma samples at concentration as low as 10 ng/mL (S/N = 3) with a linear range between 20 and 200 ng/mL. Compared to the conventional MEKC method, the sensitivity enhancement factor of the developed sweeping-MEKC method was 100. Intra- and interday precision of peak area ratios were less than 6.03%; the method accuracy was between 93.4 and 97.9%. This method was successfully applied to the analysis of plasma samples of patients undergoing paliperidone treatment.
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