- Determination and long-term stability of twenty-nine cathinones and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) in urine using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. [Journal Article]
- JCJ Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2018 Feb 15; 1076:91-102
- A method was developed for the screening and quantification of seven amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and 22 cathinones, including three metabolites, in urine with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectromet...
A method was developed for the screening and quantification of seven amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and 22 cathinones, including three metabolites, in urine with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. This method allowed the detection and quantification of ATS and cathinones group molecules using one procedure. A study of the stability of the drug mixtures for a period of 201 days in human urine samples under three different conditions has been carried. The ATS and cathinones include amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDA, MDEA, MDMA, PMA, PMMA, cathinone, methcathinone, 3'-position-substituted, ring-substituted, methylenedioxy-substituted, N-alkyl-substituted and pyrrolidinyl-substituted. Twenty drugs out of twenty-nine were validated with a quantitative method. This method can be applied to the nine remaining drugs as a screening method. The linearity of the assay was from 50 to 2000 ng/ml, with limits of detection of 0.5 to 10 ng/ml. In terms of accuracy, between-run and within-run precision were ≤20% for 20 compounds with good selectivity. No carryover was seen, and the recovery was between 80 and 120% for most drugs tested. ATS and pyrrolidinyl-substituted groups were conducted to be stable compounds under all conditions. All compounds tested were stable at -20 °C. Some cathinones were primarily degraded after 21 days at 4 °C. They were detectable but unstable after 201 days at 4 °C. Most cathinones were unstable after a day and completely lost after 28 days at RT.
- Resolution of R-(-) and S-(+)- enantiomers of clenbuterol in pharmaceutical preparations and black-market products using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. [Journal Article]
- DTDrug Test Anal 2017; 9(11-12):1738-1743
- Several banned substances are illegally used by athletes in racemic mixtures for performance enhancement. These include clenbuterol, methyl hexaneamine, methamphetamines, and amphetamines. Clenbutero...
Several banned substances are illegally used by athletes in racemic mixtures for performance enhancement. These include clenbuterol, methyl hexaneamine, methamphetamines, and amphetamines. Clenbuterol is present in a large number of doping samples from Olympic and non-Olympic athletes that have adverse analytical findings (AAFs). In some cases, the presence of these substances could be the result of consumption of meat contaminated with clenbuterol. In other cases, the origin is not clear. In this study, 27 products with racemic clenbuterol were evaluated using a new analytical methodology for the resolution of R-(-) and S-(+)-enantiomers of clenbuterol by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) using a chiral column in 15 min with good separation. The method developed can also be used for the analysis of other biological matrices such as urine, serum, and meat. The resolution between two peaks' (Rs) value obtained using chromatographic data was 1.03. Both clenbuterol enantiomers were present in all products analyzed and the ratio was nearly 1. The origin of the product was not important for determining the presence of one or both enantiomers. All products displayed a 50:50 ratio of clenbuterol enantiomers. To the best of our knowledge, clenbuterol ratio determination of a large number of pharmaceutical preparations and black-market products has not been reported previously. The information shown could be used by national anti-doping organizations and the athletes with AAFs attributed to clenbuterol. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Designation of Alpha-Phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN), a Precursor Chemical Used in the Illicit Manufacture of Phenylacetone, Methamphetamine, and Amphetamine, as a List I Chemical. Final rule. [Journal Article]
- FRFed Regist 2017 Jul 14; 82(134):32457-61
- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is finalizing the designation of the chemical alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN) and its salts, optical isomers, and salts of optical isomers, as a list I...
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is finalizing the designation of the chemical alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN) and its salts, optical isomers, and salts of optical isomers, as a list I chemical under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The DEA proposed control of APAAN, due to its use in clandestine laboratories to illicitly manufacture the schedule II controlled substances phenylacetone (also known as phenyl-2-propanone or P2P), methamphetamine, and amphetamine. This rulemaking finalizes, without change, the control of APAAN as a list I chemical. This action does not establish a threshold for domestic and international transactions of APAAN. As such, all transactions involving APAAN, regardless of size, shall be regulated. In addition, chemical mixtures containing APAAN are not exempt from regulatory requirements at any concentration. Therefore, all transactions of chemical mixtures containing any quantity of APAAN shall be regulated pursuant to the CSA. However, manufacturers may submit an application for exemption for those mixtures that do not qualify for automatic exemption.
- Chemometrics-assisted chromatographic fingerprinting: An illicit methamphetamine case study. [Journal Article]
- JSJ Sep Sci 2017; 40(6):1318-1326
- The volatile chemical constituents in complex mixtures can be analyzed using gas chromatography with mass spectrometry. This analysis allows the tentative identification of diverse impurities of an i...
The volatile chemical constituents in complex mixtures can be analyzed using gas chromatography with mass spectrometry. This analysis allows the tentative identification of diverse impurities of an illicit methamphetamine sample. The acquired two-dimensional data of liquid-liquid extraction was resolved by multivariate curve resolution alternating curve resolution to elucidate the embedded peaks effectively. This is the first report on the application of a curve resolution approach for chromatogram fingerprinting to identify particularly the embedded impurities of a drug of abuse. Indeed, the strong and broad peak of methamphetamine makes identifying the underlying peaks problematic and even impossible. Mathematical separation instead of conventional chromatographic approaches was performed in a way that trace components embedded in methamphetamine peak were successfully resolved. Comprehensive analysis of the chromatogram, using multivariate curve resolution, resulted in elution profiles and mass spectra for each pure compound. Impurities such as benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol, benzene, propenyl methyl ketone, benzyl methyl ketone, amphetamine, N-benzyl-2-methylaziridine, phenethylamine, N,N,α-trimethylamine, phenethylamine, N,α,α-trimethylmethamphetamine, N-acetylmethamphetamine, N-formylmethamphetamine, and other chemicals were identified. A route-specific impurity, N-benzyl-2-methylaziridine, indicating a synthesis route based on ephedrine/pseudoephedrine was identified. Moreover, this is the first report on the detection of impurities such as phenethylamine, N,α,α-trimethylamine (a structurally related impurity), and clonitazene (as an adulterant) in an illicit methamphetamine sample.
- Genotoxic effects induced by the exposure to an environmental mixture of illicit drugs to the zebra mussel. [Journal Article]
- EEEcotoxicol Environ Saf 2016; 132:26-30
- Despite the growing interest on the presence of illicit drugs in freshwater ecosystems, just recently the attention has been focused on their potential toxicity towards non-target aquatic species. Ho...
Despite the growing interest on the presence of illicit drugs in freshwater ecosystems, just recently the attention has been focused on their potential toxicity towards non-target aquatic species. However, these studies largely neglected the effects induced by exposure to complex mixtures of illicit drugs, which could be different compared to those caused by single psychoactive molecules. This study was aimed at investigating the genetic damage induced by a 14-day exposure to a realistic mixture of the most common illicit drugs found in surface waters worldwide (cocaine, benzoylecgonine, amphetamine, morphine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) on the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). The mixture caused a significant increase of DNA fragmentation and triggered the apoptotic process and micronuclei formation in zebra mussel hemocytes, pointing out its potential genotoxicity towards this bivalve species.
- Sensitization to the locomotor stimulant effects of "bath salt" constituents, 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC) and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), in male Sprague-Dawley rats. [Journal Article]
- DADrug Alcohol Depend 2016 Jul 01; 164:128-34
- CONCLUSIONS: Locomotor responses sensitize to MDPV and to certain mixtures of MDPV and 4-MMC following repeated dosing. Furthermore, previous exposure to these substances may produce cross-sensitization to the locomotor stimulant effects of cocaine. Considered together with recent findings that 4-MMC and MDPV have different sites of action, but both influence monoaminergic functioning, further investigations utilizing a variety of behavioral assays may prove informative regarding the abuse liability of synthetic cathinone mixtures.
- Probe Heating Method for the Analysis of Solid Samples Using a Portable Mass Spectrometer. [Journal Article]
- MSMass Spectrom (Tokyo) 2015; 4(1):A0038
- We previously reported on the development of a portable mass spectrometer for the onsite screening of illicit drugs, but our previous sampling system could only be used for liquid samples. In this st...
We previously reported on the development of a portable mass spectrometer for the onsite screening of illicit drugs, but our previous sampling system could only be used for liquid samples. In this study, we report on an attempt to develop a probe heating method that also permits solid samples to be analyzed using a portable mass spectrometer. An aluminum rod is used as the sampling probe. The powdered sample is affixed to the sampling probe or a droplet of sample solution is placed on the tip of the probe and dried. The probe is then placed on a heater to vaporize the sample. The vapor is then introduced into the portable mass spectrometer and analyzed. With the heater temperature set to 130°C, the developed system detected 1 ng of methamphetamine, 1 ng of amphetamine, 3 ng of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, 1 ng of 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, and 0.3 ng of cocaine. Even from mixtures consisting of clove powder and methamphetamine powder, methamphetamine ions were detected by tandem mass spectrometry. The developed probe heating method provides a simple method for the analysis of solid samples. A portable mass spectrometer incorporating this method would thus be useful for the onsite screening of illicit drugs.
- Detection and quantification of new psychoactive substances (NPSs) within the evolved "legal high" product, NRG-2, using high performance liquid chromatography-amperometric detection (HPLC-AD). [Journal Article]
- AAnalyst 2015 Sep 21; 140(18):6283-94
- The global increase in the production and abuse of cathinone-derived New Psychoactive Substances (NPSs) has developed the requirement for rapid, selective and sensitive protocols for their separation...
The global increase in the production and abuse of cathinone-derived New Psychoactive Substances (NPSs) has developed the requirement for rapid, selective and sensitive protocols for their separation and detection. Electrochemical sensing of these compounds has been demonstrated to be an effective method for the in-field detection of these substances, either in their pure form or in the presence of common adulterants, however, the technique is limited in its ability to discriminate between structurally related cathinone-derivatives (for example: (±)-4′-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC, 2a) and (±)-4′-methyl-N-ethylmethcathinone (4-MEC, 2b) when they are both present in a mixture. In this paper we demonstrate, for the first time, the combination of HPLC-UV with amperometric detection (HPLC-AD) for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of 4-MMC and 4-MEC using either a commercially available impinging jet (LC-FC-A) or custom-made iCell channel (LC-FC-B) flow-cell system incorporating embedded graphite screen-printed macroelectrodes. The protocol offers a cost-effective, reproducible and reliable sensor platform for the simultaneous HPLC-UV and amperometric detection of the target analytes. The two systems have similar limits of detection, in terms of amperometric detection [LC-FC-A: 14.66 μg mL(-1) (2a) and 9.35 μg mL(-1) (2b); LC-FC-B: 57.92 μg mL(-1) (2a) and 26.91 μg mL(-1) (2b)], to the previously reported oxidative electrochemical protocol [39.8 μg mL(-1) (2a) and 84.2 μg mL(-1) (2b)], for two synthetic cathinones, prevalent on the recreational drugs market. Though not as sensitive as standard HPLC-UV detection, both flow cells show a good agreement, between the quantitative electroanalytical data, thereby making them suitable for the detection and quantification of 4-MMC and 4-MEC, either in their pure form or within complex mixtures. Additionally, the simultaneous HPLC-UV and amperometric detection protocol detailed herein shows a marked improvement and advantage over previously reported electroanalytical methods, which were either unable to selectively discriminate between structurally related synthetic cathinones (e.g. 4-MMC and 4-MEC) or utilised harmful and restrictive materials in their design.
- Sorption of amitriptyline and amphetamine to mixed-mode solid-phase microextraction in different test conditions. [Journal Article]
- JCJ Chromatogr A 2015 Apr 17; 1390:28-38
- A solid-phase microextraction (SPME) method based on a sampler coating that includes strong cation groups (C18/SCX) is explored as a rapid direct sampling tool to detect and quantify freely dissolved...
A solid-phase microextraction (SPME) method based on a sampler coating that includes strong cation groups (C18/SCX) is explored as a rapid direct sampling tool to detect and quantify freely dissolved basic drugs. Sampling kinetics, sorption isotherms and competitive effects on extraction yields in mixtures were tested for amphetamine and the relatively large/hydrophobic tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline. Both compounds are >99% ionized at pH 7.4 but their affinity for the C18/SCX fiber is markedly different with distribution coefficients (Dfw values) of 2.49±0.02 for amphetamine and 4.72±0.10 for amitriptyline. Typical changes in electrolyte homeostasis that may occur in biomedical samples were simulated by altering pH and ionic composition (Na(+) and K(+) concentrations). These changes were shown to affect C18/SCX sorption affinities of the tested drugs with less than 0.2log units. At relatively low fiber loadings (<10mmol/L coating) and at all tested exposure times, linear sorption isotherms were obtained for both compounds but at aqueous concentrations of the individual drugs corresponding to concentrations in blood that are lethal, sorption isotherms became strongly nonlinear. Competition effects within binary mixtures occurred only if combinations of aqueous concentrations resulted in total fiber loadings that were in the nonlinear range of the SPME sorption isotherm for the individual compounds. We also compared sorption to the (prototype) C18/SCX SPME coating with analogue (biocompatible) C18 coated SPME fibers. C18/SCX fibers show increased sorption affinity for cationic compounds compared to C18 fibers, as tested using amitriptyline, amphetamine and trimethoprim. Surprisingly, sorption affinity of these ionized compounds for the C18 SPME fibers were within 1log unit of the C18/SCX SPME fibers. This shows that the strong cation exchange groups within the C18/SCX coating only has a relatively small contribution to the total sorption affinity of cationic compounds. Also the role of negatively charged silanol groups in both the C18 and C18/SCX coating seems small, as anionic diclofenac species sorbed strongly to the C18 fiber. Ionized organic species seem to be substantially adsorbed to the high surface area of C18 in SPME types using porous silica based coatings.
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- Behavioral sensitization following concurrent exposure to mephedrone and D-amphetamine in female mice. [Journal Article]
- BPBehav Pharmacol 2015; 26(1-2):180-3
- Recreational use of illicit methcathinone derivatives is a public health concern in the USA and Europe. Recent reports indicate that mephedrone (MEPH) produces neurochemical and behavioral effects co...
Recreational use of illicit methcathinone derivatives is a public health concern in the USA and Europe. Recent reports indicate that mephedrone (MEPH) produces neurochemical and behavioral effects comparable with amphetamines. The present study investigated the effects of a mixture of MEPH and D-amphetamine (AMPH) on the induction and expression of behavioral sensitization. Thirty female CD-1 mice received seven subcutaneous injections of saline, AMPH (1.0 mg/kg), MEPH (3.0 mg/kg), or AMPH (1.0 mg/kg)+MEPH (3.0 mg/kg) over an 8-day period with 48 h between the first and second injection and 24 h between subsequent injections. Activity was assessed immediately following the first and seventh dose. After a 10-day washout, 1.0 mg/kg AMPH was administered to all animals and activity was assessed in a similar manner. Compared with mice treated with AMPH or MEPH, those treated with AMPH+MEPH displayed stronger indices of behavioral sensitization after the seventh dose and in response to AMPH after the washout period. These results suggest that MEPH may enhance sensitivity to the behavioral effects of AMPH. Considered in light of findings that MEPH has comparable neurochemical actions to the amphetamines and is commonly used with other stimulants, further research on the abuse liability of drug mixtures with methcathinones and other psychostimulants is warranted.