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J Anal Toxicol. 2004 Oct;28(7):563-74.

Amphetamine excretion profile following multidose administration of mixed salt amphetamine preparation.

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Academy of Health Sciences, MCCS-HMP PA Branch, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234-6138, USA.


Interpretation of drug testing results requires detailed scientific information, particularly in those cases where the question of legitimate use versus illicit use arises. Amphetamine remains a widely abused drug throughout the world, although it is also used therapeutically for weight loss, narcolepsy, and attention-deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD). Treatment of ADHD using stimulant drugs is much more common now than it was in even the recent past. Increasingly, older individuals are diagnosed and treated for ADHD, and treatment often continues into adulthood. Amphetamine is commonly used for the treatment of ADHD and is available by prescription as either the d-enantiomer or a mixture of enantiomers. Although used for many years, there are no data available to describe the excretion profile of amphetamine and its enantiomers following repeated use of the drug. As a result, medical review officers (MROs) and forensic toxicologists have no direct evidence to base their decisions on when it comes to evaluation of use of these drugs. The current study was designed to determine the concentration and enantiomer excretion profile following repeated daily administration of mixed enantiomers of amphetamine. Twenty milligrams of Adderall was administered daily to five healthy subjects with all subsequent ad lib urine samples collected for at least five days following administration of the five-dose regimen. Adderall is a 3:1 mixture of d- and l-enantiomers of amphetamine salts and represents the mixed enantiomer proportion of amphetamine available in the United States through pharmaceutical channels. Peak amphetamine concentrations ranged from 5739 to 19,172 ng/mL. Samples containing > or = 500 ng/mL amphetamine (the administrative cutoff for a positive result by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) were seen up to 60:15 (h:min) following administration of the last dose. Enantiomer analysis showed the d-enantiomer to be in excess of the l-enantiomer for as long as the drug was administered. After administration of the last dose of drug, the proportion of l-enantiomer increased over time. Not all samples that contained > or = 500 ng/mL total amphetamine were positive when tested by immunoassay because of the differing cross-reactivity of the enantiomers. This study provides the first description of the excretion of amphetamine following repeated administration of Adderall. The presence of the l-enantiomer separates this drug from other formulations composed of only the d-enantiomer (i.e., Dexedrine and much illicit amphetamine), thus readily differentiating them from Adderall use. Some illicit and medicinal amphetamine is, however, a mixture of amphetamine enantiomers. Because the enantiomers are metabolized at different rates, their proportion offers the opportunity to describe excretion versus time. Coupling this data with drug concentration makes it possible for forensic toxicologists and MROs to come to an informed decision regarding the involvement of this drug in a positive drug test result.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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