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J Anal Toxicol. 2005 Oct;29(7):711-4.

A rapid HPLC procedure for analysis of analgesic pharmaceutical mixtures for quality assurance and drug diversion testing.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 980165, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0165, USA.


A simple high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method that allows for the rapid identification and quantification of analgesic and anesthetic solutions typically used in surgical procedures or patient controlled analgesia is presented. The separation of bupivacaine, clonidine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, midazolam, and morphine is complete in less than 20 min. The method allows test solutions to be either directly injected or diluted prior to injection into the HPLC system. The method is useful from the standpoint that pharmaceutical preparations are usually submitted with the known drug of interest and expected concentration. The method is also useful for initial screening of solutions submitted that are either unknown or of questionable identity. The method has been successfully applied as part of hospital-based quality control and quality assurance programs to detect not only errors in the preparation of solutions of scheduled drugs, but also to uncover illegal diversion of drugs of abuse by medical personnel.

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