Quantitative analysis of buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine in urine using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Britannia House, Britannia Road, Morley, Leeds, LS27 0DQ, U.K.
Journal of analytical toxicology (Impact Factor: 2.63). 06/2006; 30(4):238-44. DOI: 10.1093/jat/30.4.238
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Buprenorphine is an opioid analgesic drug that is used as an alternative to methadone to treat heroin addiction. Established methods for the analysis of buprenorphine and its metabolites in urine such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) involve complicated sample extraction procedures. The aim of the present study was to develop a sensitive yet straightforward method for the simultaneous analysis of buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine in urine using liquid chromatography-MS-MS. The method comprised an enzymatic hydrolysis using Patella vulgata b-glucuronidase, followed by centrifugation and direct analysis of the supernatant. The limits of detection and quantitation were < 1 microg/L for buprenorphine and < 1 and 4 microg/L, respectively, for norbuprenorphine. Assay coefficients of variation (CVs) were < 15%, with the exception of concentrations close to the limit of quantitation, where CVs were below 20%. In direct comparison with an established GC-MS protocol, the method showed minimal negative bias (8.7% for buprenorphine and 1.8% for norbuprenorphine) and was less susceptible to sample carryover. The extent of conjugation in unhydrolyzed urine was investigated and found to be highly variable, with proportions of unconjugated buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine of 6.4% [range 0% to 67%; standard deviation (SD) 9.7%] and 34% (range 0% to 100%; SD 23.8%), respectively.

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a method for the determination of buprenorphine (BUP), norbuprenorphine (NBUP) and naloxone (NAL) in fingernails and urine samples collected from former heroin users under suboxone substitution therapy. The analytes were extracted by solid-liquid or solid-phase extraction and were analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The validation of the analytical methods developed included linearity, recovery, accuracy, precision, ion suppression, sensitivity of interfaces and limits of determination and quantification. The validated methods were applied to samples from 46 individuals. The majority of the urine samples were positive for all analytes (93.5% for BUP, 95.7% for NBUP and 84.8% for NAL). In nails, a higher detection rate was observed for NBUP and BUP (89.1%), compared with NAL (10.9%). The median values of the NBUP/BUP and the NAL/BUP ratio were 2.5 and 0.3 in urine and 0.8 and 0.3 in nails, respectively. A statistically significant correlation was found between the BUP, NBUP and total BUP (BUP and NBUP) concentrations in urine and those in nails. A weak correlation was observed between the daily dose (mg/day) and total BUP (P = 0.069), or NBUP (P = 0.072) concentrations in urine. In contrast, a strong correlation was found between the total amount of BUP administered during the last 12 months and total BUP (P = 0.038), or NBUP (P = 0.023) concentrations in urine. Moreover urine BUP, NBUP and total BUP concentrations correlated significantly. Our study demonstrated successfully the application of the developed method for the determination of the three analytes in urine and nails. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
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