Detection of amphetamine and methamphetamine following administration of benzphetamine

by Cody JT, Valtier S.
Clinical Research Squadron,
59th Medical Wing, Lackland AFB, Texas 78236-5319, USA.
[email protected]
J Anal Toxicol 1998 Jul-Aug;22(4):299-309


Interpretation of urine drug-testing results is a challenging endeavor for several reasons. Effects of pH, dilution, legitimate and illicit sources of the drugs, and, perhaps the most challenging, the possibility of the methamphetamine and/or amphetamine being the result of the use of some other drug. Although it is known that 14 different compounds are metabolized to methamphetamine or amphetamine or both, there is little information on the metabolic profile of many of these compounds, making interpretation of results difficult. Benzphetamine, administered as a single Didrex tablet, was given to 10 subjects (7 male and 3 female) and urine samples collected for the next 7 days. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry results showed 3 of the 10 subjects did not have a single urine sample that exceeded a 500-ng/mL cutoff for amphetamine or methamphetamine. The other subjects had between one and six samples that tested positive at or above that level. Two subjects excreted more methamphetamine than amphetamine, whereas the other eight excreted greater amounts of amphetamine than methamphetamine. The observed ratio between amphetamine and methamphetamine was significantly different than what would be expected from the use of methamphetamine. Results of this study indicate the metabolism of benzphetamine to desmethylbenzphetamine is a major pathway in the metabolism of the drug. Enantiomer analysis of the methamphetamine and amphetamine revealed only the d-enantiomer. Results of this study add significant information useful to interpret the possibility of benzphetamine as the origin of methamphetamine and amphetamine in urine samples.