Using isotopic fractionation to link precursor to product in the synthesis of (±)-mephedrone: A new tool for combating "legal high" drugs

Niamh NicDaéid (Lead / Corresponding author), Wolfram Meier-Augenstein, Helen F. Kemp, Oliver B. Sutcliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8691-8696
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume84
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2012

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