Detection of capromorelin in urine following oral and dermal routes of administration

Tim Sobolevsky, Katja Walpurgis, Christian Goergens, Matthew Fedoruk, Laura Lewis, Brian Ahrens, Mario Thevis

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Capromorelin is a growth hormone secretagogue. Despite promising results to alleviate muscle-wasting in the elderly, it has not advanced further in human development. Subsequent studies demonstrated capromorelin's ability to increase food intake in animals, leading to approval in the United States and Europe as an appetite stimulant for cats (Elura) and dogs (Entyce). Capromorelin is prohibited in sports due to its ability to stimulate growth hormone production and enhance performance. However, given that its veterinary preparation is formulated as a highly concentrated solution (20 or 30 mg/mL) delivered orally, incidental ingestion or dermal absorption may result in an adverse analytical finding (AAF) by way of direct exposure during oral administration to a pet. An administration study was conducted by either oral or transdermal application of capromorelin solution to mimic the scenario of inadvertent exposure to the drug. Ingestion of 30 μg of capromorelin orally (equivalent to 1 μL of Entyce) resulted in detectable amounts of capromorelin in urine for up to 48 h after administration with a maximum urinary concentration of 7 ng/mL. Importantly, when applied directly to the skin on the hands in larger quantities mimicking a pet administration exposure scenario (30 mg or 1 mL of Entyce), capromorelin was also detected reaching a maximum urinary concentration of 0.7 ng/mL. Athletes and testing authorities should be aware of the risk of an AAF arising due to incidental exposure to veterinary preparations of capromorelin. To our knowledge, before 2022, no positive test for capromorelin had ever been reported.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug testing and analysis
Issue number11-12
Pages (from-to)1449-1453
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 08.09.2023

Research areas and keywords

  • Humans
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Aged
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles/adverse effects
  • Growth Hormone
  • Administration, Oral


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