Journal Article

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Designation and Prediction of Metabolic Dealkylation and Hydroxylation Reactions in Xenobiotics Exemplified by Tramadol

Babiker El-Haj, Abdulkader Al-Amri and Heyam Ali

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 33, issue 1, pages 34-40
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/33.1.34
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Designation and Prediction of Metabolic Dealkylation and Hydroxylation Reactions in Xenobiotics Exemplified by Tramadol

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Metabolic dealkylation and hydroxylation reactions in xenobiotics are common and may take place at different sites in the molecules. Sometimes confusion may arise as to the nature and site of the resulting metabolic change when there is more than one potential site. The use of GC-MS in resolving the problem has been demonstrated by using tramadol as example. Human urine samples containing tramadol and its metabolites were extracted under basic pH conditions and analyzed by GC-MS, in the electron impact and chemical ionization modes, before and after trimethylsilyl (TMS) derivatization. By recognizing the mass-to-charge ratios of molecular and base-peak ions in the mass spectra, it was possible to predict and designate sites of demethylation and hydroxylation in tramadol metabolites. In addition to the designation of the known tramadol metabolites, the practice has led to the tentative characterization of hydroxytramadol and norhydroxytramadol as new metabolites of tramadol in humans. Possible extension of the modus operandi to other xenobiotics was discussed.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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