Specific and sensitive analysis of nefopam and its main metabolite desmethyl-nefopam in human plasma by liquid chromatography-ion trap tandem mass spectrometry.

Research paper by Guillaume G Hoizey, Anne A Goglin, Jean-Marc JM Malinovsky, Arnaud A Robinet, Laurent L Binet, Matthieu L ML Kaltenbach, Hervé H Millart, Denis D Lamiable

Indexed on: 18 Jul '06Published on: 18 Jul '06Published in: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis


A specific and sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS-MS) method using an ion trap spectrometer was developed for quantitation of nefopam and desmethyl-nefopam in human plasma. Nefopam, desmethyl-nefopam and the internal standard (ethyl loflazepate) were extracted in a single step with diethyl ether from 1 mL of alkalinized plasma. The mobile phase consisted of acetonitrile with 0.1% formic acid (50:50, v:v). It was delivered at a flow-rate of 0.3 mL/min. The effluent was monitored by MS-MS in positive-ion mode. Ionisation was performed using an electrospray ion source operating at 200 degrees C. Nefopam and desmethyl-nefopam were identified and quantified in full scan MS-MS mode using a homemade MS-MS library. Calibration curves were linear over the concentration range of 0.78-100 ng/mL with determination coefficients >0.996. This method was fast (total run time<6 min), accurate (bias<12.5%), and reproducible (intra- and inter-assay precision<17.5%) with a quantitation limit of 0.78 ng/mL. The high specificity and sensitivity achieved by this method allowed the determination of nefopam and desmethyl-nefopam plasma levels in patients following either intermittent or continuous intravenous administration of nefopam.

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