Amphetamines

Early experiments on guinea pigs suggested that amphetamines incorporate into hair and may be considered as a sensitive and long-term marker of amphetamine consumption in humans (4). Over the years, large number of publications has appeared in the literature describing the methods for detection of amphetamine and other sympa-thomimetic amines in hair. These methods include immunoassays, GC, GC-MS and HPLC (5-10).

Rothe et al. (11) described GC-MS protocol with selected ion monitoring for simultaneous analysis of amphetamine, methamphetamine, methylenedioxyamphe-tamine (MDA), methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and methylenedioxyethy-lamphetamine (MDEA) for hair samples obtained from subjects with a self-reported history of amphetamine or ecstasy use. The samples were digested with sodium hydroxide, followed by solid-phase extraction using a C-18 column and derivatization with pentafluoropropionic anhydride. Though amphetamine was detected in 17 of 20

samples, methamphetamine was not detected in any sample. Also, despite enormous interindividual variations, there was a correlation between increasing ecstasy abuse and concentration of MDA, MDMA and MDEA in the proximate 3-cm segments. Using a similar method, Cooper et al. (12) analyzed hair samples for amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDA, MDMA and MDEA from 100 subjects recruited from the "dance scene" in and around Glasgow, Scotland. These subjects self-reported drug use. The hair samples were analyzed in two 6-cm segments or in full, ranging from 1.5 to 12 cm depending on the length of the hair. Of the 139 segments analyzed, 77 (52.5%) were positive for at least one of the five amphetamines. Despite more than 50% concordance between the drugs consumed and the drugs detected in hair, there was no correlation between the reported number of "ecstasy" tablets consumed and the drug levels detected in hair.

Koide et al. (13) described head-space solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography with nitrogen-phosphorus detection method for detection of amphetamine and methamphetamine. The authors used 1 mg of hair. The methods for amphetamine and methamphetamine were linear in the ranges of 0.4—15 and 4-160 ng/mg hair samples with limit of detection of 0.1 and 0.4ng/mg of hair, respectively.

Like urine, the guidelines require the presence of amphetamine on metham-phetamine-positive samples (3).

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