Journal of veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics

The formation of aminorex in racehorses following levamisole administration. A quantitative and chiral analysis following synthetic aminorex or levamisole administration vs. aminorex-positive samples from the field: a preliminary report.

PMID 19290946


Beginning in 2004, the horseracing industry experienced an epidemic of drug positives for the amphetamine-like drug aminorex. Investigation of the therapeutic treatment of the horses called positive for this drug suggested that its source was from the administration of the anthelmintic levamisole. This study examines the urine concentrations of aminorex as a function of time following administration of synthetic, racemic aminorex. Confirmation of the presence of aminorex in urine samples from the horses known to be treated with levamisole is also presented as are data concerning the concentrations of aminorex in positives called from the field and the corresponding concentrations of levamisole found in the same samples. Furthermore, this study illustrates that the chiral isomer distribution of aminorex found in samples from the field is significantly different from that arising from the administration of synthetic, racemic aminorex and is similar to that observed from aminorex arising from levamisole administration. An examination of the chiral isomer distribution of aminorex and a determination of the presence of levamisole in a sample may be used to assess the source of an aminorex positive, distinguishing it from an intentional synthetic, racemic aminorex administration. The role of levamisole in aminorex formation is also discussed.

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