Rapid screening for and simultaneous semiquantitative analysis of thirty abused drugs in human urine samples using gas chromatography - mass spectrometry

Tomomi Ishida, Keiko Kudo, Hiromasa Inoue, Akiko Tsuji, Takashi Kojima, Noriaki Ikeda

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19 Citations (Scopus)


In Japan, a wide variety of designer drugs became popular among juveniles because of their availability via the Internet and mobile phones. Hence, it is necessary to develop simple and rapid screening method for these drugs. We devised a rapid screening method for and simultaneous semiquantitative analysis of 30 abused drugs, including amphetamines, amphetamine-, piperazine-, tryptamine-, and phenethylamine-derived designer drugs and opiates in human urine. The urine sample was digested with urease, and the drugs were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in the scan mode after solid-phase extraction with a Focus™ column and acetylation. The retention time obtained with the use of a retention time locking technique and three qualifier ions were used to obtain positive results. As the Focus column requires only simple extraction steps and can retain various drugs of a wide range of polarity, screening of 30 abused drugs was feasible within 3 h. The calibration curves were linear in the concentration range of 100-5000 ng/mL in most drugs with correlation coefficients exceeding 0.99. The absolute recoveries for all drugs in urine samples were 6.9-125.4% at the concentration 1000 ng/mL. This method will be most useful to confirm the presence of many abused drugs in urine in clinical and forensic cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-477
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Analytical Toxicology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety

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