JOURNAL ARTICLE

Methamphetamine and amphetamine isomer concentrations in human urine following controlled Vicks VapoInhaler administration

Michael L Smith, Daniel C Nichols, Paula Underwood, Zachary Fuller, Matthew A Moser, Ron Flegel, David A Gorelick, Matthew N Newmeyer, Marta Concheiro, Marilyn A Huestis
Journal of Analytical Toxicology 2014, 38 (8): 524-7
25217541
Legitimate use of legal intranasal decongestants containing l-methamphetamine may complicate interpretation of urine drug tests positive for amphetamines. Our study hypotheses were that commonly used immunoassays would produce no false-positive results and a recently developed enantiomer-specific gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) procedure would find no d-amphetamine or d-methamphetamine in urine following controlled Vicks VapoInhaler administration at manufacturer's recommended doses. To evaluate these hypotheses, 22 healthy adults were each administered one dose (two inhalations in each nostril) of a Vicks VapoInhaler every 2 h for 10 h on Day 1 (six doses), followed by a single dose on Day 2. Every urine specimen was collected as an individual void for 32 h after the first dose and assayed for d- and l-amphetamines specific isomers with a GC-MS method with >99% purity of R-(-)-α-methoxy-α-(trifluoromethyl)phenylacetyl derivatives and 10 µg/L lower limits of quantification. No d-methamphetamine or d-amphetamine was detected in any urine specimen by GC-MS. The median l-methamphetamine maximum concentration was 62.8 µg/L (range: 11.0-1,440). Only two subjects had detectable l-amphetamine, with maximum concentrations coinciding with l-methamphetamine peak levels, and always ≤ 4% of the parent's maximum. Three commercial immunoassays for amphetamines EMIT(®) II Plus, KIMS(®) II and DRI(®) had sensitivities, specificities and efficiencies of 100, 97.8, 97.8; 100, 99.6, 99.6 and 100, 100, 100%, respectively. The immunoassays had high efficiencies, but our first hypothesis was not affirmed. The EMIT(®) II Plus assay produced 2.2% false-positive results, requiring an enantiomer-specific confirmation.

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