Scientific publications

Simultaneous stereoselective analysis of tramadol and its primary phase I metabolites in plasma by liquid chromatography. Application to a pharmacokinetic study in humans

Mar 26, 2004 | Magazine: Journal of Chromatology

Campanero MA, García-Quetglas E, Sádaba B, Azanza JR.


This paper describes a bioanalytical method involving a simple liquid-liquid extraction for the simultaneous HPLC determination of the enantiomers of tramadol, the active metabolite O-desmethyltramadol (M1), and the other main metabolite N-desmethyltramadol (M2) in biological samples.

Chromatography was performed at 5 degrees C on a Chiracel OD-R column containing cellulose tris(3,5-dimethylphenylcarbamate) as chiral selector, preceded by a achiral end-capped C8 column (LiChrospher 60-RP-selected B 5 microm, 250 mm x 4 mm). The mobile phase was a mixture of phosphate buffer containing sodium perchlorate (1 M) adjusted to pH 2.5-acetonitrile-N,N-dimethyloctylamine (74.8:25:0.2). The flow rate was 0.5 ml/min. Fluorescence detection (lambda(ex) 200 nm/lambda(em) 301 nm) was used. Fluconazol was selected as internal standard. The limit of quantitation of each enantiomer of tramadol and their metabolites was 0.5 ng/ml (sample size = 0.5 ml).

The chiral conditions and the LC optimisation were investigated in order to select the most appropriate operating conditions. The method developed has also been validated. Mean recoveries above of 95% for each enantiomer were obtained. Calibration curves for tramadol enantiomers (range 1-500 ng/ml), M1 enantiomers (range 0.5-100 ng/ml), and M2 enantiomers (range 0.5-250 ng/ml) were linear with coefficients of correlation better than 0.996. Within-day variation determined on four different concentrations showed acceptable values.

The relative standard deviation (R.S.D.) was determined to be less than 10%. This method was successfully used to investigate plasma concentration of enantiomers of tramadol, O-desmethyltramadol and N-desmethyltramadol in a pharmacokinetic study.

CITATION  J Chromatogr A. 2004 Mar 26;1031(1-2):219-28