Journal Article

Distribution of Methylone in Four Postmortem Cases

Brian M. Cawrse, Barry Levine, Rebecca A. Jufer, David R. Fowler, Shawn P. Vorce, Amber J. Dickson and Justin M. Holler

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 36, issue 6, pages 434-439
Published in print July 2012 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online May 2012 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Distribution of Methylone in Four Postmortem Cases

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Disclaimer: The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army.

Drugs derived from amphetamine, methamphetamine and their methylenedioxy- analogues, although being sold as plant food or bath salts, are being used as legal alternatives to scheduled amphetamine stimulants. These products often contain methylone, mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)—three amphetamine derivatives shown to have strong pharmacological effects. Four postmortem cases were analyzed for methylone, mephedrone and MDPV, with drug levels quantitated in multiple biological matrices. All four cases had detectable levels of methylone, with heart blood concentrations of 0.740, 0.118, 0.060 and 1.12 mg/L. Analysis of several tissue samples shows that methylone does not sequester in a particular tissue type after death. The average liver-to-blood ratio was 2.68. Two cases also had MDPV present, but insufficient data were collected to formulate a hypothesis on postmortem sequestration or redistribution. Two different extraction methods, as well as analysis of derivatized and underivatized methylone, show that the drug is suitable for analysis in either method. The cases are believed to show one instance of chronic methylone use, with a urine concentration of 38 mg/L.

Journal Article.  4235 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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