An efficient method for simultaneous detection of Pheniramine, Pentazocine and cotinine in urine by Gas Chromatography in De-addiction program

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Psychiatry, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi-110029, India



Background: Nonmedical use of prescription drugs for recreational purposes is a major health problem that 
raises high concerns for public health. Recently, several laboratory studies have reported the misuse of 
pentazocine, an agonist-antagonist opioid in combination with antihistamines in opioid addicts. Illicit selfadministration of prescription drugs has been increasingly reported in India. Urinalysis as an adjunct to selfreport plays a key role in providing additional information in the treatment of drug users. This paper aims to discuss a simple, convenient, and rapid capillary column gas-liquid chromatography method for simultaneous detection of pentazocine, pheniramine, and cotinine in urine.

Methods: The sample was extracted with chloroform and isopropanol (3:1,v/v) and evaporated to dryness. 
After reconstitution with methanol, it was directly subjected to gas chromatography analysis. Method 
performance was evaluated and validated in terms of sensitivity, precision, the limit of detection (LOD), and 
the limit of quantification (LOQ).

Findings: The linearity obtained was in the range of 50–1000 ng/ml with a correlation coefficient (r) above 
0.999 for each drug. Good LOQ (50ng/ml) was obtained with each drug. Also, the developed method was 
effective in analyzing samples from patients with suspected abuse of these drugs.

Conclusion: The technique was found to be simple, robust, sensitive, and precise in the simultaneous analysis 
of drugs (pentazocine, pheniramine, and cotinine). This method was proved to be useful and cost-effective in 
treating and monitoring patients seeking help for addiction in clinical settings.