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Ther Drug Monit. 2008 Jun;30(3):333-40. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e31816e2d4b.

Determination of oxycodone, noroxycodone, oxymorphone, and noroxymorphone in human plasma by liquid chromatography-electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.


A sensitive and specific liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed and validated for the quantification of oxycodone, noroxycodone, oxymorphone, and noroxymorphone. Following solid-phase extraction, the analytes were separated on a reverse-phase column by gradient elution and analyzed by MS/MS. The analytes were found to be stable in plasma for at least three freeze-thaw cycles and 5 hours at room temperature, and also in the reconstitution solution at 8 degrees C for at least 48 hours. The lower limits of quantification were 0.1 ng/mL for oxycodone and oxymorphone and 0.25 ng/mL for noroxycodone and noroxymorphone. All calibration curves were linear up to 100 ng/mL. The extraction recoveries were more than 85%, the intraday and interday coefficients of variation were <15%, and the accuracy was >90% for all analytes at relevant plasma concentrations. The method has been used in the therapeutic drug monitoring of more than 1000 clinical plasma samples. About 50 concomitantly used drugs were tested for possible ion suppression and found not to interfere with the method. In conclusion, this method is suitable for pharmacokinetic studies in patients and healthy volunteers, and it can be applied to therapeutic monitoring of oxycodone.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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