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Vol. 24, No. 2, 1982
Issue release date: 1982
Pharmacology 1982;24:82–87

Automated Electron-Capture Gas Chromatographic Analysis of Flunitrazepam in Plasma

Greenblatt D.J. · Ochs H.R. · Locniskar A. · Lauven P.M.
Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, Mass., USA; Departments of Medicine and Anesthesia, Medizinische Universitätskliniken, Bonn-Venusberg, FRG

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Nanogram quantities of flunitrazepam and its major metabolite, desmethylflunitrazepam, can be reliably quantitated in human plasma using electron-capture gas-liquid chromatography. After addition of methylnitrazepam as the internal standard, plasma samples are extracted with an organic solvent (benzene:isoamyl alcohol). The organic extract is separated, evaporated to dryness, reconstituted, and injected onto the chromatograph using an automatic sampling system which allows up to 100 analyses/24 h. The sensitivity limits are 0.5 ng/ml for flunitrazepam and 1–2 ng/ml for desmethylflunitrazepam. Use of the method is illustrated in a study of the pharmacokinetic properties of flunitrazepam following a single 1.0-mg intravenous dose.

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