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J Anal Toxicol. 2000 Oct;24(7):651-5.

Chiral high-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine in rabbit plasma, urine, and vitreous humor using an acetylated beta-cyclodextrin column.

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Department of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.


Fluoxetine (Prozac) is a potent selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor used for the treatment of major depression. Both fluoxetine (F) and its demethylated metabolite, norfluoxetine (NF), are racemic. S-Fluoxetine (SF) and S-norfluoxetine (SNF) are more potent inhibitors of serotonin reuptake than R-fluoxetine (RF) and R-norfluoxetine (RNF). Quantitation of individual enantiomers may provide a greater understanding of pharmacokinetic properties. The objective of this study was to perform a limited chiral selectivity study using rabbit plasma, urine, and vitreous humor analyzed by a solid-phase extraction protocol and a newly developed chiral analysis with an acetylated beta-cyclodextrin (CD) column. Liquid chromatographic parameters for CD were as follows: a mobile phase composition of methanol/0.3% triethylamine buffer, pH 5.6, (30:70), a flow rate of 1 mL/min, detection at 214 nm, and a temperature of 40 degrees C. Elution order was SNF, SF, RNF, and RF with capacity factors of 6, 7, 8, and 9, respectively. The corresponding resolution factors were as follows: R1,2 = 0.8, R2,3 = 1.2, and R3,4 = 0.9. The conditions for solid-phase extraction were optimized for Varian Bond Elut Certify columns. Following sample application, the column was rinsed with water, acetic acid, and then with methanol. Drug enantiomers were eluted with methylene chloride, isopropanol, and ammonium hydroxide (78:20:2). After extract evaporation, the extract residue was reconstituted for high-performance liquid chromatographic analysis. To investigate chiral pharmacology, a biodistribution study was performed by administering 2 mg/kg of F to five rabbits. Blood, urine, and vitreous specimens were collected. Plasma samples collected 45 min postinjection showed nearly equal concentrations of RF and SE After 24 h, the only metabolite detected in plasma was RNF. Drugs were not detectable in vitreous humor. Urine concentrations of SNF, SF, RNF, and RF were 51, 76, 34, and 8 microg/L, respectively. The CD column along with the described extraction protocol may be used for a chiral selectivity study of fluoxetine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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