Journal Article

CYP2D6 Ultrarapid Metabolism and Morphine/Codeine Ratios in Blood: Was it Codeine or Heroin?

Y.J. He, J. Brockmöller, H. Schmidt, I. Roots and J. Kirchheiner

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 32, issue 2, pages 178-182
Published in print March 2008 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/32.2.178
CYP2D6 Ultrarapid Metabolism and Morphine/Codeine Ratios in Blood: Was it Codeine or Heroin?

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The concentration ratio of morphine (Mor) over codeine (Cod) in opiate positive blood samples is used to discriminate between the use of illegal heroin (high ratios) and therapeutic codeine (low ratios). However, genetically caused CYP2D6 ultra-rapid metabolism might lead to Mor/Cod comparable to heroin intake. A single oral dose of 30 mg codeine was administered to 11 CYP2D6 ultrarapid metabolizers (UMs) and 12 extensive metabolizers (EMs). Codeine and its morphine metabolites and Mor/Cod were quantified in plasma and urine by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry within 24 h after codeine intake. The Mor/Cod in plasma were below 1 for both UMs and EMs during the first 12 h. After 12 h, 9% of the 11 UM and none of the 12 EM had ratios > 1. In urine, Mor/Cod ratios were below one for all EMs and UMs during the first 12 h. Thus, CYP2D6 genotyping in general will not explain Mor/Cod ratios > 1 in plasma or urine, unless the time of drug intake is more than 24 h previous.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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