Journal Article

Cocaine, Nicotine, Caffeine, and Metabolite Plasma Concentrations in Neonates*

Delia A. Dempsey, J. Colin Partridge, Reese T. Jones and Michael C. Rowbotham

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 22, issue 3, pages 220-224
Published in print May 1998 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online May 1998 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/22.3.220
Cocaine, Nicotine, Caffeine, and Metabolite Plasma Concentrations in Neonates*

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The objective of this study was to measure the umbilical cord plasma levels of cocaine, nicotine, caffeine, and their metabolites. Thirty-six neonates at risk for prenatal cocaine exposure were prospectively enrolled. Umbilical cord plasma was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy for cocaine, cocaethylene, benzoylecgonine (BZE), nicotine, cotinine, and caffeine. Eighteen neonates were plasma positive for BZE, and 50% of these were also positive for cocaine. Cocaethylene was not found. The maximum plasma cocaine concentration was 88 ng/mL (mean, 39 ng/mL). The maximum plasma BZE concentration was 3880 ng/mL (mean, 844 ng/mL). Among BZE-positive babies, the mean plasma drug levels were as follows: nicotine, 1.8 ng/mL; cotinine, 94 ng/mL; and caffeine, 1205 ng/mL. Among the BZE-negative babies, the mean plasma drug levels were as follows: nicotine, 5.2 ng/mL; cotinine, 97 ng/mL; and caffeine, 1440 ng/mL. These cocaine levels raise the possibility of pharmacological effects of cocaine in the early neonatal period.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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