Analysis of benzodiazepines for drug-facilitated assaults and abuse settings (urine)

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An overview of the detection of benzodiazepines and their respective metabolites and target analytes in urine by LC-MS/MS is described. This overview shows substantial differences in the approach to detection using this technique including optional use of β-glucuronidase to hydrolyze conjugates present in urine. There are also significant variations in the extraction method employed from the use of direct injection, liquid-liquid extraction to solid-phase extraction options, with little apparent difference in limits of detection. Chromatography was largely based on the use of C18-bonded columns; however both C8- and phenyl-bonded columns were used to affect separation. Modern-day tandem mass spectrometers are capable of exceptional sensitivity enabling detection of sub-nanogram per milliliter amounts in urine, which provide for longer detection times in the urine of suspected drug-facilitated assaults. A method employed in the laboratory of the authors is provided by way of an example for readers wishing to establish a method in their own laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLC-MS in Drug Analysis
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsLoralie J. Langman, Christine L.H. Snozek
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781493988235
ISBN (Print)9781493988228
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Benzodiazepines
  • Liquid chromatography
  • Liquid-liquid extraction
  • Metabolites
  • Novel psychoactive drugs
  • Solid-phase extraction
  • Tandem mass spectrometry
  • β-Glucuronidase

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