Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis

Quantitative analysis of mephedrone using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy: application to human hair.

PMID 22209483


Recent abuse of designer drugs such as mephedrone has presented a requirement for sensitive, reliable and reproducible methods for the detection of these controlled drugs in different matrices. This study focuses on a fully developed validated method for the quantitative analysis of mephedrone and its two metabolites 4-methylephedrine and 4-methylnorephedrine in human hair. The calibration curve was found to be linear in the range 5-100 pg/mg for mephedrone and 10-150 pg/mg for 4-methylephedrine and 4-methylnorephedrine. The method was successfully validated for the intraday precision, interday precision, limit of detection, accuracy and extraction recovery. Five out of 154 hair samples were confirmed to be positive for mephedrone. Due to the structural similarities to other methcathinones and amphetamines, one can propose the metabolism for mephedrone based on a similar pathway that has been previously used for these psychoactive drugs. The outlined method can be valuable for the future detection of mephedrone and its two metabolites in hair.