Analytical Chemistry

Using Isotopic Fractionation to Link Precursor to Product in the Synthesis of (±)-Mephedrone: A New Tool for Combating "Legal High" Drugs

Authors

N Nic Daeid, W Meier-Augenstein, HF Kemp, O B Sutcliffe

Abstract

Several recent deaths in the U.K. have been attributed to “legal high” drugs and in particular to (±)-4-methylmethcathinone ((±)-mephedrone). Recent literature has begun to focus on the chemical analysis of mephedrone and related substituted cathinones and methcathinones; however, no studies involving the application of stable isotope analysis to these compounds has yet emerged. Such studies have, for example, the potential to provide information linking the final products to a particular precursor by the manufacturer. In this study, the use of stable isotope profiling was explored to provide a possible connection between product and precursor chemicals. Six samples each of mephedrone were prepared using precursor chemicals from two different manufacturers, providing 12 samples in total. Synthesis was via a stable intermediate

Publication link

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ac3019069

N Nic Daeid, W Meier-Augenstein, HF Kemp and OB Sutcliffe (2012) “Using Isotopic Fractionation to Link Precursor to Product in the Synthesis of (±)-Mephedrone: A New Tool for Combating "Legal High" Drugs”, Analytical Chemistry, 84(20), 8691-8696.

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