Conclusions

Testing for amphetamine, methamphetamine, and amphetamine-like compounds focuses primarily on detection of amphetamine, methamphetamine, and designer drugs often grouped together as ecstasy (MDMA, MDA, and MDEA). The primary concern for immunoassay screening is false-positive results due to cross-reactivity of the reagent antibodies to other sympathomimetic amines, namely, the hydroxyl amines ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine. For GC/MS confirmation testing, generation of methamphetamine from high levels of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine in injection ports at high temperatures after derivatization with 4-CB, HFBA, and TPC is a potential problem. Periodate treatment of samples prior to immunoassay screening or GC/MS confirmation removes the interfering sympathomimetic amines. Another problem with amphetamines testing is the existence of d and I stereoisomers that are not distinguishable by immunoassay screening and most GC/MS confirmation procedures. Isomer resolution procedures involve separation using chiral columns or derivatization using optically pure chiral derivatizing agents. Testing for amphetamine, methamphetamine, and MDMA/metabolites in hair, oral fluid, and sweat presents matrix-specific problems and introduction of other confirmation methods involving LC and MSMS instrumentation.

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