Continuous Flow Hydride Generation-Fourier Transforms Infrared Spectrometric Determination of Antimony in Homeopathic (Antihomotoxic) Products


Author(s): Gallignani Maximo, Ovalles José Fernando, Ayala Carlos, and Brunetto María Rosario

Introduction: Antimony potassium tartrate is a component of certain expectorants in homeopathic medicine, particularly in those classified as antihomotoxic remedies. Given that antihomotoxic products are prepared with different epistemological and methodological statuses, they should be tested to prevent eventual toxic effects. Methods: In this study, we evaluate the possibility of using continuous flow hydride generation (HG) coupled with Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) for determining antimony concentration in antihomotoxic products containing antimony potassium tartrate. Results: The results showed good agreement with the theoretically estimated values for the liquid commercial samples, in the range from 0.5 μg/mL to 30 μg/mL, following the principle of decimal dilutions used in homeopathic medicine. Liquid samples were analyzed directly from the commercial container. Discussion: In the absence of regulatory standards for antihomotoxic products, the proposed HG-FTIR method in gaseous phase provides an acceptable analytical capability for homeopathical compendiums, not only for analyzing raw materials and mother tinctures but also for determining identity and uniformity content of finished products which should comply with pharmacopoeial specifications, and also in the determination of toxic content, 6 μg antimony per kg body weight, tolerable daily intake (TDI) proposed by the World Health Organization.