Development of a simultaneous analytical method for selected anorectics, methamphetamine, MDMA, and their metabolites in hair using LC-MS/MS to prove anorectics abuse.Anal Bioanal Chem. 2012 May; 403(5):1385-94.AB
Owing to the tight control of methamphetamine, it is presumed that phentermine, an amphetamine-type anorectic, has recently been considered a supplement for methamphetamine abusers in Korea. In addition, the abuse of other anorectics obtained by inappropriate means has become a social issue. Hair is a useful specimen to prove chronic drug use. Therefore, an analytical method for the simultaneous detection of phentermine, phendimetrazine, amfepramone, fenfluramine, mazindol, methamphetamine, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), as well as their metabolites, which covers the major amphetamines and anorectic agents in Korea, in hair was established and validated using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The drugs and their metabolites in hair were extracted using 1 % HCl in methanol and then filtered and analyzed by LC-MS/MS with electrospray ionization in positive mode. The validation results for selectivity, linearity, matrix effect, recovery, process efficiency, intra- and interassay precision and accuracy, and processed sample stability were satisfactory. The limits of detection ranged from 0.025 to 1 ng/10 mg hair and the limits of quantification were 0.25 ng/10 mg hair for every analyte except mazindol and phentermine, for which they were 10 ng/10 mg hair. The method was successfully applied for the segmental determination of selected anorectics, methamphetamine, MDMA, and their metabolites in hair from 39 drug suspects. Among the anorectics, phentermine and/or phendimetrazine were identified with or without methamphetamine in the hair samples. Closer supervision of the inappropriate use of anorectics is necessary. Also, hair analysis is useful for monitoring the abuse potential of unnoticed drugs.