Analysis of gabapentin in serum and plasma by solid-phase extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for therapeutic drug monitoring

J Anal Toxicol. 1999 Jan-Feb;23(1):1-6. doi: 10.1093/jat/23.1.1.


A simple method for the determination of gabapentin (Neurontin) is described. The method uses solid-phase extraction by disk column and derivatization followed by gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis. The single-step derivatization with MTBSTFA produces a t-BDMS derivative of both the carboxylic and amine moieties of the molecule. Each step of the procedure was optimized to assure reliable performance of the method. The assay limit of detection was 0.1 microg/mL with a linear range from 1.0 to 35 microg/mL. Within-run (n = 3) and between-run (n = 40) coefficients of variation were less than 8.2 and 15.9%, respectively. The method has proven reliable in routine production for more than a year, producing clean chromatography with unique ion fragments, consistent ion mass ratios, and no interferences. Statistical analysis of the gabapentin concentrations measured in 1020 random specimens over a 2-month period showed a mean concentration of 6.07 microg/mL with a standard deviation of 5.28.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / blood*
  • Acetates / therapeutic use
  • Amines*
  • Antiparkinson Agents / blood*
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids*
  • Drug Monitoring / methods*
  • Drug Stability
  • Gabapentin
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry*
  • Humans
  • Random Allocation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid*


  • Acetates
  • Amines
  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin