Quality Assurance of Pharmaceuticals - A Compendium of Guidelines and Related Materials - Volume 1
(1997; 248 pages) [French] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contents1. National drug regulation
Close this folder2. Product assessment and registration
View the documentGuidelines for the assessment of herbal medicines1,2
Open this folder and view contentsStability of drug dosage forms1
Close this folderGuidelines for stability testing of pharmaceutical products containing well established drug substances in conventional dosage forms1
View the documentGeneral
View the documentDefinitions
View the document1. Stability testing
View the document2. Intended market
View the document3. Design of stability studies
View the document4. Analytical methods
View the document5. Stability report
View the document6. Shelf-life and recommended storage conditions
View the documentReferences
View the documentOfficial, international and national guidelines
View the documentAppendix 1. Survey on the stability of pharmaceutical preparations included in the WHO Model List of Essential Drugs: answer sheet
View the documentAppendix 2. Stability testing: summary sheet
Open this folder and view contentsMultisource (generic) pharmaceutical products: guidelines on registration requirements to establish interchangeability1
Open this folder and view contents3. Distribution
Open this folder and view contents4. The international pharmacopoeia and related activities
Open this folder and view contents5. Basic tests
Open this folder and view contents6. Laboratory services
Open this folder and view contents7. International trade in pharmaceuticals
Open this folder and view contents8. Counterfeit products
Open this folder and view contents9. Training
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack cover


The stability of finished pharmaceutical products depends, on the one hand, on environmental factors such as ambient temperature, humidity and light, and, on the other, on product-related factors, e.g. the chemical and physical properties of the active substance and of pharmaceutical excipients, the dosage form and its composition, the manufacturing process, the nature of the container-closure system and the properties of the packaging materials.

For established drug substances in conventional dosage forms, literature data on the decomposition process and degradability of the active substance (1) are generally available together with adequate analytical methods. Thus, the stability studies may be restricted to the dosage forms.

Since the actual stability of a dosage form will depend to a large extent on the formulation and packaging-closure system selected by the manufacturer, stability considerations, e.g. selection of excipients, determination of their level and process development, should be given high priority in the developmental stage of the product. The possible interaction of the drug product with the packaging material in which it will be delivered, transported and stored throughout its shelf-life must also be investigated.

The shelf-life should be established with due regard to the climatic zone(s) (see section 2) in which the product is to be marketed. For certain preparations, the shelf-life can be guaranteed only if specific storage instructions are complied with.

The storage conditions recommended by manufacturers on the basis of stability studies should guarantee the maintenance of quality, safety, and efficacy throughout the shelf-life of a product. The effect on products of the extremely adverse climatic conditions existing in certain countries to which they may be exported calls for special consideration (see section 6).

To ensure both patient safety and the rational management of drug supplies, it is important that the expiry date and, when necessary, the storage conditions are indicated on the label.

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