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Designer Psychostimulants in Urine by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 59 Issue: 1 Dated: 2014 Pages: 175-183
Sarah Kerrigan; Ashley Mullings; Breana Jatzlau; Francisco Ortiz; Laura Perrella; Sarah Martin; Kelsie Bryand
Date Published
9 pages

This study developed a procedure for the detection of 15 psychostimulants in urine, using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).


Designer psychostimulants are known by recreational drug users to produce a complex array of adrenergic and hallucinogenic effects. Many of these drugs are not targeted during routine toxicology testing and consequently are rarely reported. The current study tested a detection procedure for identifying 2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine (2C-B), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-chlorophenethylamine (2C-C), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylphenethylamine (2C-D), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylphenethylamine (2C-E), 2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-H), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenethylamine (2C-I), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylthiophenethylamine (2C-T-2), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-isopropylthiophenethylamine (2C-T-4), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-propylthiophenethylamine (2C-T-7), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromoamphetamine (DOB), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine (DOC), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylamphetamine (DOET), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM), and 4-methylthioamphetamine (4-MTA). Analytical recoveries using solid-phase extraction were 64–92 percent, and the limit of detection was 0.5 ng/mL for all drugs except 2C-B (1 ng/mL). The assay was evaluated in terms of analytical recovery, precision, accuracy, linearity, matrix effect, and interferences. The technique enables the simultaneous detection of 15 psychostimulants at sub-ng/mL concentrations. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2014