This article reports the findings and methodology of chromatographic and mass spectral studies on methoxy methyl methamphetamines related to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.
The methoxy methyl methamphetamines are a unique set of compounds having an isobaric relationship with the controlled drug substance 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (3,4-MDMA or Ecstasy). The various isomeric forms of the methoxy methyl methamphetamines have mass spectra essentially equivalent to 3,4-MDMA, and all have molecular weight of 193 and major fragment ions in their electron ionization mass spectra at m/z 58 and 135/136. Mass spectral differentiation of 3,4-MDMA from some of the methoxy methyl methamphetamines was possible after formation of the perfluoroacyl derivatives, pentafluoropropionamides (PFPA) and heptafluorobutyramides (HFBA). Perfluoroacyl derivatization provided unique and characteristic mass spectral fragment ions when the methoxy group is substituted at the 2- or 4-position of the aromatic ring relative to the alkylamine side chain group. Perfluoroacyl derivatization did not offer any characteristic ions for discrimination of 3,4-MDMA from the 3-methoxy ring substituted methyl methamphetamines. Gas chromatographic separation on non-polar stationary phases successfully resolved subsets of the methoxy methyl methamphetamines, based on ring position of the methoxy group, from 2,3- and 3,4-MDMA as the PFPA and HFBA derivatives. (publisher abstract modified)
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