In order to support studies on various medication protocols for the treatment of cocaine abuse, an accurate, precise, and sensitive (2.5 to 750 ng/mL) liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay was developed to determine cocaine and benzoylecgonine in human plasma. Cocaine-d3 and benzoylecgonine-d3 were added as internal standards and samples were subjected to solid-phase extraction. Cocaine recovery was 94.4% and benzoylecgonine was 80.3% at 2.5 ng/mL. The selected reaction monitoring of parent ions at m/z 304 and 290 resulted in strong fragments at m/z 182 and 168 for cocaine and benzoylecgonine, respectively. The method was fully validated. The mean measured concentration at the 2.5 ng/mL, the lower limit of quantitation, was within 10.8% of the target and the precision determined at the low (5 ng/mL), medium (50 ng/mL), and high (650 ng/mL) quality controls ranged from 0.9 to 6.2% CV. Cocaine and benzoylecgonine concentrations in plasma treated with 1% NaF showed changes of less than 10% when maintained at room temperature for up to 7 h and no significant changes when subjected to three freeze-thaw cycles. The concentrations of cocaine and benzoylecgonine remained stable in plasma samples stored at -20°C for up to 11 months. Methanolic stock solutions of both analytes are stable, staying within 2% of the freshly prepared stock solutions, when stored at -20°C for up to 235 days. Both extracted analytes reconstituted in methanolic solutions are stable for up to seven days whether stored at -20°C or at room temperature on the autosampler. The method is rugged, rapid, and robust and has been applied to the batch analysis of more than 700 samples during pharmacokinetic profiling to assess potential interactions between intravenous (i.v.) cocaine challenge and treatment medications. Results from three of these subjects receiving 40 mg (i.v.) cocaine demonstrate the utility of the method.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Chemical Health and Safety