The impact of N-nitrosamine impurities on clinical drug development


Over the past few years, an increasing number of commercially available drugs have been reported to contain N-nitrosamine impurities above acceptable intake limits. Consequent interruption or discontinuation of the manufacturing and distribution of several marketed drugs has culminated into shortages of marketed drugs, including the antidiabetic drug metformin and the potentially life-saving drug rifampin for the treatment of tuberculosis. Alarmingly, the clinical development of new investigational products has been complicated as well by the presence of N-nitrosamine impurities in batches of marketed drug. In particular, rifampin is a key clinical index drug employed in drug-drug interaction (DDI) studies, and as a result of nitrosamine impurities regulatory bodies no longer accept the administration of rifampin in DDI studies involving healthy subjects. Drug developers are now forced to look at alternative approaches for commonly employed perpetrators, which will be discussed in this review.

Authors: Sabina Paglialunga, Aernout van Haarst
; Full Source: Journal of pharmaceutical sciences 2023 Jan 24;S0022-3549(23)00019-9. doi: 10.1016/j.xphs.2023.01.017.