Nitrosamine impurities analysis & testing

RSSL offers a bespoke method to identify nitrosamine impurities in APIs and drug products to help you ensure patient and product safety and achieve regulatory compliance.


Nitrosamine impurities were first detected in sartan blood pressure medications in 2018. Since then, there have been further instances of nitrosamine contamination in a range of pharmaceutical products. Due to their high toxicity and ability to be unexpectedly generated, identification of these impurities in APIs is of paramount importance.  


In response to this, regulatory bodies around the world have set out detailed guidance recommending steps that API and drug product manufacturers should take to detect and prevent unacceptable levels of nitrosamine impurities in products. An internationally recognised acceptable daily intake limit for common nitrosamines has also been set.  

All commercially available pharmaceutical products should be risk assessed for nitrosamine contamination, with the submission of any necessary analytical work. The EMA has highlighted six key common nitrosamines to consider, though more unusual nitrosamines may be emphasised in the risk assessment.

By working closely with RSSL, we successfully developed and validated suitable methods for nitrosamine testing, ultimately ensuring the safe delivery of essential medicines to those in need

Client feedback - 2023


Common nitrosamines include:


  • N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) 
  • N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) 
  • N-nitrosodiisopropylamine (NDIPA) 
  • N-nitrosoethylisopropylamine (NEIPA) 
  • N-Nitrosodibutylamine (NDBA) 
  • N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA) 
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    Nitrosamine analysis service


    At RSSL, our approach uses ultra-sensitive and state-of-the-art liquid (LC-MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) instruments, including:  


    • LC-MS Triple Quadrupole (TQ) Spectrometer  
    • High-Resolution Mass Spectrometer (HRMS) 
    • Headspace GC-MS  
    • Direct injection GC-MS  
    • Time-of-flight GC-MS  


    This is combined with the most suitable sample preparation technology, to extract the desired nitrosamine or nitrosamines from the product. 

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    Bespoke nitrosamine analysis method development


    RSSL’s pharmaceutical contamination and impurities team has extensive experience in nitrosamine detection, working closely with the industry and our clients to develop and validate bespoke analytical methods. Whether you require a limit test or a quantitative method, we have the expertise to help you achieve your aim. 

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