Excretion of methadone in sweat of pregnant women throughout gestation after controlled methadone administration

Allan J. Barnes, Bertrand R. Brunet, Robin E. Choo, Patrick Mura, Rolley E. Johnson, Hendrée E. Jones, Marilyn A. Huestis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sweat patches (n = 350) were collected throughout gestation from 29 opioid-dependent pregnant women participating in an outpatient methadone-assisted therapy program. Volunteers provided informed consent to participate in institutional review board-approved protocols. Methadone was eluted from sweat patches with sodium acetate buffer, followed by solid-phase extraction and quantification by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (limit of quantification 10 ng/patch). Methadone was present in all weekly patches (n = 311) in concentrations ranging from 10.2 to 12,129.7 nanograms per patch and in 92.3% of short-term patches (n = 39, worn for 12 or 24 hours) in concentrations up to 3303.9 nanograms per patch. Correlation between patch concentrations and total amount of drug administered (r = 0.224), and concentrations and duration of patch wear (r = 0.129) were both weak. Although there were large intra-and intersubject variations in sweat drug concentrations, sweat testing was an effective alternative technique to qualitatively monitor illicit drug use and simultaneously document methadone medication-assisted treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-503
Number of pages7
JournalTherapeutic drug monitoring
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • alternative matrix
  • drug testing
  • methadone
  • sweat
  • therapeutic drug monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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