Journal of analytical toxicology

The stability of four designer drugs: MDPV, mephedrone, BZP and TFMPP in three biological matrices under various storage conditions.

PMID 23325764


The analysis of designer drugs, including those in the synthetic cathinone and piperazine classes, may be complicated by the poor stability of these compounds in biological specimens. The stability of four of these compounds was investigated: 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, 4-methyl-N-methylcathinone (mephedrone), N-benzylpiperazine and 1-[3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]piperazine. Compound stability was monitored in three different biological matrices when each matrix was stored under three different conditions. These matrices and conditions included human whole blood, human serum and human urine, each stored at -20, 4 and 22°C for a period of 14 days in the dark in a sealed glass container. Analysis by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was performed on Day 1 to establish the initial concentration for each drug in each specimen type, and then the samples were divided into three parts for storage under the various conditions. Analysis was performed in triplicate on Days 2, 4, 7 and 14 for each specimen type under each storage condition and the results were compared to those obtained on Day 1. Following analysis of the data, it became clear that mephedrone was not stable, and that care must be taken following specimen receipt to ensure minimal degradation.

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1-(α,α,α-Trifluoro-m-tolyl)piperazine, analytical standard, 96%