Chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of tianeptine in urine

Liliya Logoyda


Introduction: Coaxil (tianeptine) is a new generation antidepressant with selective serotoninergic action. Recently, a significant increase in non-medical use of the atypical tricyclic antidepressant drug, tianeptine, has been observed in Ukraine. According to domestic narcologists and psychiatrists, there is information on tianeptine abuse by drug addicts. In literature, there is information that this medicine combines characteristics of opium, heroin, and cocaine in it. Receiving of tianeptine in high dosages (400–600 mg intravenously) leads to a state of euphoria and gives a narcotic effect that is several times stronger than heroin and cocaine. The aim of the Study: The aim of the research was to study of tianeptine metabolism products in the human body in urine by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Methods: The analysis has been carried out on a gas chromatograph Agilent 6890N with a mass-selective detector Agilent 5973 and an injector Agilent 7683 (USA) equipped with a chromatographic quartz capillary geyser of FactorFour Varian (USA). Gas carrier was helium. Results and Discussion: The analysis of extracts received as with acidic and with alkaline pH values has shown metabolites of tianeptine MC5 in them. Besides the main metabolite (MC5), there have also been desalkyldesaminotianeptine and desalkyldesaminonortianeptine in the extracts obtained at pH 3–4 and in the extracts obtained at pH 9–10 - desalkyltianeptine and a metabolite, the structure of which has not been established at the moment. Based on the fact that the main metabolite of tianeptine MC5 is isolated from the urine both at acidic pH values (pH = 3–4) and alkaline (pH = 9–10), it is possible to use as acidic as alkaline extracts for the chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis. Conclusions: The possibility of using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry methods for metabolites has been shown. The main metabolite of tianeptine can be isolated from the urine at acidic and also at alkaline pH values of the medium.

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