A UV photolysis decomposition (UVPD) method for the determination of fluoride in fluorine containing pharmaceuticals by spectrophotometry is reported. It is based on the use of high intensity UV-irradiation in the presence of a digesting solution comprising a mixture of acetone and isopropanol. For the optimization of the UVPD procedure, three bulk drugs (levofloxacin, nebivolol and efavirenz) were chosen as representatives of three diverse compounds containing a single fluorine atom, two fluorine atoms, and trifluoromethyl groups respectively. Operational conditions of the UVPD method, such as concentration and volume of reagents (acetone and isopropyl alcohol), and UV irradiation time (1–6 minutes) were optimized. The efficiency of digestion was evaluated by the determination of fluoride in sample digests. Using the developed method, it was possible for complete conversion of the organofluoride to free fluoride ion for its subsequent determination by spectrophotometry based on bleaching of Zr–xylenol orange-color complex. Quantitative recovery (>98%) of the fluorine in the drug samples could be achieved using a mixture of 2% acetone + 2% isopropyl alcohol + 0.003% Na 2 CO 3 in just 5 minutes of UV irradiation, which can be considered an important aspect considering the difficulties involved in the cleavage of the C–F bond. Accuracy was evaluated by comparison of results obtained by the UVPD method with the values estimated using formula weight of the compound and no statistical difference was observed between the results. Therefore, the proposed method is suitable for application in routine analysis of fluoride in organofluorine-containing drugs. © 2016

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