Journal Article

Excretion Profile of Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone and Norhydrocodone in Urine Following Single Dose Administration of Hydrocodone to Healthy Volunteers

Sandra Valtier and Vikhyat S. Bebarta

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 36, issue 7, pages 507-514
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online July 2012 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/bks058
Excretion Profile of Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone and Norhydrocodone in Urine Following Single Dose Administration of Hydrocodone to Healthy Volunteers

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Abuse of prescription opioids for non-medical use has been on the rise over the past decade. The most commonly abused opioid is hydrocodone, a frequently prescribed pain medication metabolized by the body to hydromorphone, norhydrocodone and other minor metabolites. This study describes the excretion profile of hydrocodone, hydromorphone and norhydrocodone in urine following a single dose (10 mg) administration of hydrocodone to human subjects (n = 7) and presents a validated liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method for analysis of the drug and its metabolites. Limit of quantitation was 5 ng/mL for all analytes; limit of detection was 2.5 ng/mL for hydrocodone and norhydrocodone and 5 ng/mL for hydromorphone. Peak concentrations of hydrocodone were found at 3:30–7:00 hours post-dose and were in the range of 612–2,190 ng/mL. Hydromorphone peak concentrations were found at 6:15–26:45 hours post-dose and ranged from 102 to 342 ng/mL. For norhydrocodone, peak concentrations were found at 4:20–13:00 hours post-dose and ranged from 811 to 3,460 ng/mL. Although hydromorphone was found at lower levels than hydrocodone, in six of seven subjects, it persisted for as long as hydrocodone was detected. Norhydrocodone was found at higher levels and lasted for a longer period of time than hydrocodone, thus making the nor-metabolite a valuable tool in evaluating hydrocodone use and/or misuse.

Journal Article.  4717 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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