Background: A search of the relevant literature shows that there is still a paucity of information
on the theme of saliva as a diagnostic material for the quantitation of antidepressants. The objective
of this study, therefore, was to develop and validate a sensitive, reliable and rapid HPLC procedure
for the quantitation of citalopram in the saliva of women with major depressive disorders who
were undergoing citalopram therapy.
Method: A single–step liquid–liquid extraction (LLE) with dichloromethane was used for the isolation
of citalopram from saliva. For its quantitation a HPLC system was used.
Result: The procedure developed was validated for selectivity, linearity, limits of detection and quantitation,
precision, accuracy and stability. Single-step LLE with dichloromethane was found to be
more profitable than other techniques. The extractant ensures isolation of the antidepressant and internal
standard with satisfactory inter–day and intra–day precision and accuracy.
Conclusion: The procedure enabled low quantities of citalopram to be quantified in saliva using
HPLC with a simple UV detector. Single-step LLE was found to be a convenient, workable and cost–
effective tool for purifying saliva. Saliva used as a diagnostic material has the benefit of reducing the
anxiety associated with blood sampling, making the proposed procedure stress–free and non–invasive
for depressed patients. Moreover, it can be helpful in monitoring the intake of medicine by subjects
with apathy or depression.