Multi-residue analysis of sedative drugs in human plasma by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry
Abstract Background Sedative drugs are often used for the treatment of depression, anxiety and insomnia and they are involved in many forensic cases. This work established a method for the simultaneous determination of multi-groups of sedative drugs (benzodiazepines, barbitals, phenothiazines, tricyclic antidepressant and butyrophenone) in human plasma for forensic analysis. A large number of sedative drugs with forensic interest can be analyzed in a short time with lower limits of quantification by combination of SPE extraction and ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Methods Sample preparation consisted of extraction of the plasma by hydrochloric acid solution and further purified by SLW solid phase extraction column. Results The method was fully validated to cover large concentration ranges of 50–1000μg/L for 5 Barbital drugs, while 1.0–50μg/L for the other 14 sedative drugs. The average recoveries of the drugs spiked at three levels ranged from 65.3% to 114.3% with the relative standard deviation between 1.2% and 13.2%. The lowest limits of quantification (LLOQ) were 100μg/L for Barbital drugs and1.0μg/L for all the other 14 drugs. Conclusions This validated method has been successfully used in emergency analysis of multi-residues of sedative drugs in plasma. Highlights Multi-group of tranquilizers in plasma were simultaneously detected by LC–MS/MS. The method was validated to be sensitive, precise and robust. It has been tested and validated for quick analysis of poisoning of tranquilizers.
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