Quantitative determination of forty-eight antidepressants and antipsychotics in human serum by HPLC tandem mass spectrometry: a multi-level, single-sample approach

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2006 Oct 20;843(1):100-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2006.05.031. Epub 2006 Jun 23.


This method describes the simultaneous determination of amisulpride, amitriptyline, aripiprazole, benperidol, chlorpromazine, chlorprothixene, citalopram, clomipramine, clozapine, desipramine, doxepin, fluoxetine, flupentixol, fluphenazine, fluvoxamine, haloperidol, hydroxyrisperidone, imipramine, levomepromazine, maprotiline, mianserine, mirtazapine, moclobemide, norclomipramine, nordoxepin, norfluoxetine, nortriptyline, O-desmethylvenlafaxine, olanzapine, opipramol, paroxetine, perazine, perphenazine, pimozide, pipamperone, quetiapine, reboxetine, risperidone, sertraline, sulpiride, thioridazine, trazodone, trimipramine, venlafaxine, viloxazine, ziprasidone, zotepine and zuclopenthixol with a single sample/triple injection approach. Drugs were assigned to subgroups covering low, medium and high concentrations (overall range of therapeutic levels to be considered: 0.5-2000 ng/mL) by further dilution of the supernatant obtained after the first protein precipitation. Chromatographic separation was necessary for isobaric mass fragments and performed on a monolithic C18 column (50mmx4.6mm) with methanol gradient and 5mM acetate buffer at pH 3.9. The injection interval was 8 min. A set of three internal standards was used for quantification of drugs with widely varying hydrophobicity. After electrospray ionization positive ion fragments were detected in the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode with an API 4000 tandem mass spectrometer. Regression parameters of calibration curves and limits of quantification showed good covering of therapeutic and subtherapeutic ranges with an average correlation coefficient of 0.9988. Imprecision and inaccuracy measures were prepared for intra- and inter-assay comparisons at three concentration ranges in all subgroups. Average coefficients of variation were 6.1% for intra-assay and 7.4% for inter-assay comparisons, while average deviations from spiked concentrations were 4.8% for intra-assay and 4.2% for inter-assay comparisons, respectively. Recovery rates, measured as the percent recoveries of spiked serum samples against standard solutions without serum matrix, varied between 92 and 111%, with an average of 101%. As the only exception, the olanzapine response was much higher (185%) in serum matrix than in matrix-free controls.

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / blood*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / blood*
  • Calibration
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents