Two colorimetric and titrimetric procedures are developed for determination of some cephalosporins, namely, cefotaxime sodium (CFT), cehroxime sodium (CFU) and ceftazidime pentahydrate (CFZ). The first method, a colorimetric method, was based on the reaction of these cited drugs with 4-chloro-7-nitrobenzofurazan (NBD-Cl), in the presence of 5x10-3 M borax, with the formation of stable colored chromogens with maximum absorbance in the range of 409 - 414 nm. All variables affecting the development of the colour have been investigated and the conditions were optimized. The method obeys Beer's law over concentration ranges of 19.09 - 95.49, 17.85 - 124.98 and 63.66 - 254.66 µg ml-1 of CFT, CFU and CFZ, respectively. Obedience to Beer's law permitted the successful application of the proposed method for the assay of cefuran, cefumax and fortum vials. The results obtained reveal good percentage recoveries, which are in good agreement with those obtained by the official methods. In the second method, the titrimetric method, the conditions for the oxidimetric titration of cephalosporins have been studied. The titration takes place because of catalytic quantities of KBr, which give rise to an intermediate that can be hydrolyzed to the sulfoxide. The operating conditions are described and a hypothesis is put forward concerning the mechanism of the reaction.
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