Laboratory toxicological diagnosis of fluoxetine poisonings




fluoxetine, biological fluids, extraction, high performance liquid chromatography


The results of laboratory diagnosis obtained during the toxicological study of human biological fluids for the presence of drugs are of key importance for determining the cause of the antidepressant poisoning.

Aim. To develop the bioanalytical method for determining the antidepressant fluoxetine in the blood and urine based on the high-performance liquid chromatography with a multiwave UV spectrophotometric detection, which is suitable for laboratory toxicological diagnosis of the antidepressant poisoning.

Materials and methods. The model blood and urine samples spiked with the antidepressant studied were analyzed. The extraction of the drug from biological fluids was performed with chloroform from the alkaline medium at pH of 8-9 in the presence of ammonium sulfate as a salting-out agent. The formed elements of blood were precipitated with 10 % trichloroacetic acid. The biological admixtures were removed by extraction with diethyl ether from the acidic medium and the TLC method. The chromatographic analysis was performed on a microcolumn chromatograph with a multiwave UV spectrophotometric detector on a reversed-phase C18 column.

Results. The retention time of fluoxetine in extracts from the blood and urine was 23.35 ± 0.03 min. The quantitative determination was performed at λmax 260 nm by the calibration curve of the dependence of the concentration on the peak area (μg/ml) y = (9.2∙10-5 ± 1∙10-6)x. Using the sample preparation method developed 58±4 % of fluoxetine was isolated from the blood, (72 ± 4) % of the drug from the urine.

Conclusions. The methods developed for the determination of fluoxetine in the blood and urine by the reversed-phase HPLC with a multiwave UVD after the liquid-liquid extraction at the stage of sample preparation have allowed to identify and determine the expected toxic and lethal concentrations of this antidepressant in biological fluids, and therefore, are suitable for the purpose of clinical and forensic toxicology.

Author Biographies

S. A. Karpushyna, National University of Pharmacy of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine

Candidate of Chemistry (Ph.D), associate professor of the Department of Analytical Chemistry and Analytical Toxicology

S. V. Baiurka, National University of Pharmacy of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine

Doctor of Pharmacy (Dr. habil.), professor of the Department of Analytical Chemistry and Analytical Toxicology


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