High-pressure studies of pharmaceuticals: An exploration of the behavior of piracetam

Francesca P. A. Fabbiani, David R. Allan, William I. F. David, Alistair J. Davidson, Alistair R. Lennie, Simon Parsons, Colin R. Pulham, John E. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The structural response of the nootropic drug piracetam (2-oxo-pyrrolidineacetamide) to both direct compression and high-pressure recrystallization from aqueous solution is reported. Crystals obtained by these methods have been characterized in situ by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Compression of form II between pressures of 0.45-0.70 GPa caused a reversible, single-crystal to single-crystal transition to give a new polymorph, form V. Crystallization from a dilute aqueous solution of piracetam at a pressure of 0.6 GPa via crystallization of high-pressure ice-VI resulted in the formation of a previously unreported dihydrate. The molecular packing arrangements of these new structures are compared with the known polymorphs and hydrates of piracetam. This study highlights how the systematic variation of pressure is a powerful method for the exploration of polymorphism and solvate formation and has the potential to add a further dimension to polymorph screening of pharmaceuticals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1124
Number of pages10
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


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