HPLC Measurement of MDMA Content in Ecstasy Tablets Available in the Black Market of West Azerbaijan Province, Northwestern Iran

Ghafari, Reza and Heydari, Amir and Vardast, Mohammad Reza and Akbari, Azam (2014) HPLC Measurement of MDMA Content in Ecstasy Tablets Available in the Black Market of West Azerbaijan Province, Northwestern Iran. Asia Pacific Journal of Medical Toxicology, 3 (4). pp. 163-168.

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Background:Ecstasy, mainly composed of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), is one of the most popular addictive synthetic drugs. This study was aimed to investigate the amount of MDMA in the ecstasy tablets seized in West Azerbaijan province, northwest Iran and also to assess the relationship between the physicochemical and morphological characteristics of the tablets. Methods: MDMA content of ecstasy tablets was analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography method. Flow rate was 3 mL/min and mobile phase consisted of a mixture of acetonitrile and water containing triethylamine (pH = 3.2). The fluorescence spectrophotometer detector set at an excitation and emission wavelength of 220 and 306 nm, respectively. The retention time of ecstasy on this system was 2.2 minutes. The calibration curve was linear (R2= 0.999) over the concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 2 µg/ml. The limit of detection and the limit of quantitation were found to be 0.06 µg/L and 0.19 µg/L, respectively with six times repetition. Results: In this study, 85 ecstasy tablets were analyzed. Mean weight of the tablets was 275.6 ± 70.4 (range: 158.5-403.3) mg. Mean MDMA content of the tablets was 30.53 ± 23.23 (range: 0.05-70.7) mg. The tablets were classified into 8 groups based on their morphological features (color and logo). Considering the tablet groups, physicochemical features of the tablets (weight, MDMA content, and MDMA to weight ratio) were significantly different (P < 0.001). Correlation analysis showed that the MDMA content and weight of tablets were significantly correlated (P = 0.04). Conclusion: There is variability in the physicochemical properties of ecstasy tablets available in the black market for illicit drugs in northwest Iran. This variability may potentially put abusers at increased risk of overdose due to inadvertent excess ingestion of the tablets to achieve desired effects and also experiencing more harm due to tablets adulterants.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV pharmacology
Divisions: Journals > Asia Pacific J Toxicology
Depositing User: apjmt apjmt
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2017 14:52
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2017 14:52
URI: http://eprints.mums.ac.ir/id/eprint/7945

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