Novel Benzodiazepines (Clonazolam and Flubromazolam) Identified in Candy-Like Pills

Jeffrey D. Pope, Kay Weng Choy, Olaf H. Drummer, Hans G. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To identify the contents of pills found on an intoxicated patient by ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTof).5 To highlight the potential ability that this technique can add to the clinical laboratory. METHODS: Illicit PEZ-like pills purchased from an online vendor, containing unknown substances, were investigated by UHPLC-QTof. Accurate mass and experimental data were obtained. Tentative identifications were subsequently confirmed with commercial standards. RESULTS: Accurate mass data, high-energy mass spectra, elucidation software, and a review of the scientific literature enabled the tentative identification of clonazolam and flubromazolam in the PEZ-like pills. On the basis of these tentative identifications, commercial standards were purchased to confirm the initial findings. On subsequent reinterrogation of the data, flubromazolam was identified in the urine specimen of the patient. CONCLUSIONS: Utilizing high-resolution mass data, 2 novel benzodiazepines were tentatively identified by reinterrogation of a routine analysis for drugs of abuse. Use of UHPLC-QTof in a clinical toxicology laboratory provides additional capabilities to explain and potentially improve treatment of patients presenting to the emergency department with symptoms possibly due to toxic substance ingestion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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