Development of a LC-MS/MS Method for the Determination of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in Human Hair

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. Medical Biochemistry Verification Laboratory, Hacettepe University Hospitals, Ankara, Turkey

2 Medical Biochemistry Verification Laboratory, Hacettepe University Hospitals, Ankara, Turkey

3 Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry,Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Burdur, Turkey



Narcotic drug use is an important problem in our country and all over the world. Hair is a valuable specimen for monitoring these long-term drug uses. For this purpose, a sensitive method was created and validated for the identification and quantification of benzoylecgonine (, morphine, codeine, 6-monoacetylmorphine, heroin, tetrahydrocannabinol, amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, buprenorphine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine, and cocaine in human hair by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The sample preparation step includes washing, standard addition, liquid-phase extraction with methanol, and solid-phase extraction steps. Analysis for substances identified from a pretreated hair took a maximum of 3.64 minutes. In the method, the LOD values of each substance ranged from 0.11-0.87 ng/mg, and the linearity was quite good (r2>0.99). The concentration ranges for quantification were 0.50 and 8.00ng/mg for all substances. In addition, the intraday and interday accuracy and precision values of this method were acceptable (˂12.81%) and the recovery was found to be between 93.72%-104.78% at different concentrations. The results of this study showed that the developed very fast and reliable LC-MS/MS method is suitable for use as a validated method in the analysis of illicit drugs simultaneously in hair.