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Postmortem Blood Concentrations of R- and S-Enantiomers of Methadone and EDDP in Drug Users: Influence of Co-Medication and P-glycoprotein Genotype

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Abstract: 

We investigated toxicological and pharmacogenetic factors that could influence methadone toxicity using postmortem samples. R- and S-methadone were measured in femoral blood from 90 postmortem cases, mainly drug users. The R-enantiomer concentrations significantly exceeded that of the S-enantiomers (Wilcoxon’s test, p <0.001). The samples were divided into four groups according to other drugs detected (methadone only, methadone and strong analgesics, methadone and benzodiazepines, or methadone and other drugs). There was no significant difference in any of the R-methadone/total methadone ratios among the four groups. The median R/S ratio was 1.38, which tends to be higher than that reported for the plasma of living subjects. In addition, we investigated whether small nucleotide polymorphisms in the MDR1 gene that encode the drug transporter P-glycoprotein were associated with the concentrations of R- and S-methadone and its metabolite 2-ethylidene-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphenylpyrrolidine. No significant association was detected.
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Keywords: P-glycoprotein; R/S-methadone; addiction; chiral liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry; forensic science; pharmacogenetics; postmortem blood

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Section of Forensic Genetics, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2: Section of Forensic Chemistry, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. 3: Section of Forensic Pathology, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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