Mass spectrometric characterization of urinary hydrafinil metabolites for routine doping control purposes

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Little information on the human metabolism and urinary elimination of hydrafinil (9-fluorenol) exists. In order to support preventive anti-doping activities concerning compounds such as hydrafinil, a pilot elimination study was conducted with three healthy male volunteers receiving a single oral dose of 50 mg of hydrafinil. Urine samples were collected prior to and up to 72-h post-administration and were subjected to both gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, which allowed for the identification of the intact drug as well as Phase I and Phase II metabolites, primarily hydroxylated and/or glucuronidated or sulfo-conjugated hydrafinil. The identity of these metabolites was corroborated by high-resolution/high-accuracy tandem mass spectrometry, and the applicability of routine doping control workflows for the detection of hydrafinil and its main metabolites was assessed. Therefore, two findings of hydrafinil and its metabolites were recorded, which concerned out-of-competition doping control samples and, hence, were not pursued with confirmatory analyses. Yet, the initial testing procedure results indicate that hydrafinil might require consideration in sports drug testing programs to ensure its detection, if classified as prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug testing and analysis
Volume13
Issue number11-12
Pages (from-to)1915-1920
Number of pages6
ISSN1942-7603
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12.2021

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© 2021 The Authors. Drug Testing and Analysis published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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