LC-MS/MS Method for the Quantification of New Psychoactive Substances and Evaluation of Their Urinary Detection in Humans for Doping Control Analysis

LC-MS/MS Method for the Quantification of New Psychoactive Substances and Evaluation of Their Urinary Detection in Humans for Doping Control Analysis / Eulalia Olesti, Jose Antonio Pascual, Mireia Ventura, Esther Papaseit, Magí Farré, Rafael de la Torre, Óscar J. Pozo. - (Drug Testing and Analysis (2020) 16 January ; p. 1-28).
- PMID: 31950617.
- DOI: 10.1002/dta.2768


The constant legal adaptation of new psychoactive substances (NPS), challenges their evaluation in different fields. In sports, NPS are prohibited in competition with a Reporting Limit (RL) of 50 ng/mL for the parent compound or a metabolite. However, there is a lack of comprehensive methodologies and excretion studies for the NPS monitorization. This work aims at developing an analytical methodology for the NPS quantification and to evaluate the suitability of monitoring the urinary parent stimulants after NPS misuse. A method for the quantification of 14 common NPS was developed and validated. The method was found to be linear in the range 1-1000 ng/mL, and showed to be accurate and precise. A lowest limit of quantification (LLOQ) of 1 ng/mL was established for all analytes except for benzylpiperazine (5 ng/mL). The method was able to confirm the identity of the analytes at the LLOQ for most NPS. The methodology was applied to the quantification of the parent compound in urine samples collected from an observational study where several healthy volunteers (n ≥ 6 per drug) ingested active doses of mephedrone (MEPH), methylone (MDMC), 2,5-dimetoxy-4-ethylphenetylamine (2C-E) or 6-(2-aminopropyl)benzofuran (6-APB). We observed that for MDMC and 6-APB, the quantification of the urinary parent drug at the current RL is a proper strategy for detecting their misuse. However, this strategy seems to be insufficient for evaluating MEPH and 2C-E misuse. Monitoring the most abundant metabolite of MEPH (4'-Carboxy-MEPH) and the reduction of the RL to 10 ng/mL for the 2C-E evaluation are proposed.


Research / Study
16 January 2010
de la Torre, Rafael
Farré, Magí
Olesti, Eulalia
Papaseit, Esther
Pascual, José Antonio
Pozo, Óscar J.
Ventura, Mireia
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Institut d'Investigació en Ciencies de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP) - The Institute for Health Science Research Germans Trias i Pujol
Institut Hospital de Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) - Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) - Autonomous University of BarcelonaUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) - Pompeu Fabra University
Analytical aspects
Testing method development
Doping classes
S6. Stimulants
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14 January 2020
Date of last modification
2 December 2021
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