PloS one

Rapid and simultaneous quantification of levetiracetam and its carboxylic metabolite in human plasma by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

PMID 25375249


A simple liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method was developed and validated according to the guidelines of the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for a simultaneous quantification of levetiracetam (LEV) and its metabolite, UCB L057 in the plasma of patients. A 0.050 mL plasma sample was prepared by a simple and direct protein precipitation with 0.450 mL acetonitrile (ACN) containing 1 µg/mL of internal standard (IS, diphenhydramine), then vortex mixed and centrifuged. A 0.100 mL of the clear supernatant was diluted with 0.400 mL water and well mixed. A 0.010 mL of the resultant solution was injected into an Agilent Zorbax SB-C18 (2.1 mm×100 mm, 3.5 µm) column with an isocratic elution at 0.5 mL/min using a mixture of 0.1% formic acid in water and ACN (40:60 v/v). Detection was performed using an AB Sciex API 3000 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, equipped with a Turbo Ion Spray source, operating in a positive mode: LEV at transition 171.1>154.1, UCB L057 at 172.5>126.1, and IS at 256.3>167.3; with an assay run time of 2 minutes. The lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) for both LEV and UCB L057 was validated at 0.5 µg/mL, while their lower limit of detection (LOD) was 0.25 µg/mL. The calibration curves were linear between 0.5 and 100 µg/mL for both analytes. The inaccuracy and imprecision of both intra-assay and inter-assay were less than 10%. Matrix effects were consistent between sources of plasma and the recoveries of all compounds were between 100% and 110%. Stability was established under various storage and processing conditions. The carryovers from both LEV and UCB L057 were less than 6% of the LLOQ and 0.13% of the IS. This assay method has been successfully applied to a population pharmacokinetic study of LEV in patients with epilepsy.