Mass spectrometric characterization of urinary hydrafinil metabolites for routine doping control purposes

Mass spectrometric characterization of urinary hydrafinil metabolites for routine doping control purposes / Andre Knoop, Gregor Fußhöller, Nadine Haenelt, Christian Goergens, Sven Guddat, Hans Geyer, Mario Thevis. - (Drug Testing and Analysis (2021) 10 August; 3137)

  • PMID: 34378339
  • DOI: 10.1002/dta.3137


Little information on the human metabolism and urinary elimination of hydrafinil (9-fluorenol) exists. In order to support preventive anti-doping activities concerning compounds such as hydrafinil, a pilot elimination study was conducted with three healthy male volunteers receiving a single oral dose of 50 mg of hydrafinil. Urine samples were collected prior to and up to 72-h post-administration and were subjected to both gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, which allowed for the identification of the intact drug as well as Phase I and Phase II metabolites, primarily hydroxylated and/or glucuronidated or sulfo-conjugated hydrafinil. The identity of these metabolites was corroborated by high-resolution/high-accuracy tandem mass spectrometry, and the applicability of routine doping control workflows for the detection of hydrafinil and its main metabolites was assessed. Therefore, two findings of hydrafinil and its metabolites were recorded, which concerned out-of-competition doping control samples and, hence, were not pursued with confirmatory analyses. Yet, the initial testing procedure results indicate that hydrafinil might require consideration in sports drug testing programs to ensure its detection, if classified as prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Original document


Research / Study
10 August 2021
Fußhöller, Gregor
Geyer, Hans
Goergens, Christian
Guddat, Sven
Haenelt, Nadine
Knoop, Andre
Thevis, Mario
Other organisations
Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (DSHS) - German Sport University Cologne
European Monitoring Center for Emerging Doping Agents (EuMoCEDA)
Analytical aspects
Mass spectrometry analysis
New substance, not on prohibited list
Testing method development
Document category
Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
30 August 2021
Date of last modification
1 September 2021
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