A multi-component LC–MS/MS method for detection of ten plant-derived psychoactive substances in urine

Abstract

A sensitive and specific LC–MS/MS method for simultaneous detection of 10 plant-derived psychoactive substances (atropine, N,N-dimethyltryptamine, ephedrine, harmaline, harmine, ibogaine, lysergic acid amide, psilocin, scopolamine and yohimbine) in urine was developed. Direct injection of urine diluted with 3 deuterated internal standards allowed for a readily accessible method suitable for application in clinical intoxication cases. Separation was achieved using reversed phase chromatography and gradient elution with a total analysis time of 14 min. Electrospray ionization was used and ions were monitored in the positive selected reaction monitoring mode. The calibration curves were linear (r2 > 0.999) and the total imprecision at high (1000 μg/L) and low (50 μg/L) substance concentrations were 4.9–13.8% and 8.3–26%, respectively. Infusing the analytes post column and injecting matrix samples showed limited influence by ion suppression. The multi-component method proved to be useful for investigation of authentic cases of intoxication with plant-derived psychoactive drugs and was indicated to cover the clinically relevant concentration ranges.

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