High-sensitivity analysis of buprenorphine, norbuprenorphine, buprenorphine glucuronide, and norbuprenorphine glucuronide in plasma and urine by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.
A new method using ultra-fast liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (UFLC-MS/MS) was developed for the simultaneous determination of buprenorphine and the metabolites norbuprenorphine, buprenorphine-3β-glucuronide, and norbuprenorphine-3β-glucuronide in plasma and urine. Sample handling, sample preparation and solid-phase extraction procedures were optimized for maximum analyte recovery. All four analytes of interest were quantified by positive ion electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry after solid-phase microextraction. The lower limits of quantification in plasma were 1pg/mL for buprenorphine and buprenorphine glucuronide, and 10pg/mL for norbuprenorphine and norbuprenorphine glucuronide. The lower limits of quantitation in urine were 10pg/mL for buprenorphine, norbuprenorphine and their glucuronides. Overall extraction recoveries ranged from 68-100% in both matrices. Interassay precision and accuracy was within 10% for all four analytes in plasma and within 15% in urine. The method was applicable to pharmacokinetic studies of low-dose buprenorphine.
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