Journal Article

Cocaine and Metabolite Elimination Patterns in Chronic Cocaine Users During Cessation: Plasma and Saliva Analysis

Eric T. Moolchan, Edward J. Cone, Abraham Wstadik, Marilyn A. Huestis and Kenzie L. Preston

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 24, issue 7, pages 458-466
Published in print October 2000 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online October 2000 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/24.7.458
Cocaine and Metabolite Elimination Patterns in Chronic Cocaine Users During Cessation: Plasma and Saliva Analysis

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Several reports suggest a prolonged elimination of cocaine and metabolites after chronic use compared with single or occasional use. This study was designed to measure the half-lives of cocaine in plasma and saliva of individuals who consumed cocaine on a frequent basis. The disposition and elimination patterns of cocaine and metabolites in the body fluids of chronic high-dose cocaine users during acute cessation of use were investigated. Plasma and saliva specimens were collected over a 12-h period during cessation and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Pharmacokinetic parameters were derived by noncompartmental analysis of plasma and saliva data. Results indicated a cocaine terminal T½ of 3.8 h in plasma and 7.9 h in saliva. The terminal T½ of benzoylecgonine was 6.6 h in plasma and 9.2 h in saliva. Compared with prior studies of acute low-dose cocaine administration, these findings suggest that cocaine's half-life is longer in active street users than in occasional users though the half-life of its main metabolite benzoylecgonine remains similar (as do cocaine saliva-to-plasma ratios). Thus, regular use of cocaine appears to alter the disposition and elimination of cocaine when compared to single or occasional use.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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