Identification of bupropion urinary metabolites by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2007;21(16):2547-54. doi: 10.1002/rcm.3117.


Human urinary metabolism of the antidepressant bupropion was studied using liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/TOFMS) and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). A total of 20 metabolites were detected and identified. The phase I metabolism included formation of morpholinohydroxybupropion, threo- and erythrohydrobupropion, aromatic hydroxylation, butyl group hydroxylation with ketone hydrogenation and dihydroxylation. These metabolites were detected either as the free form or as glucuronide and/or sulphate conjugates. In addition also m-chlorohippuric acid was detected. Of the phase I metabolites, a dihydroxylation to the aromatic ring and to the methyl group in the middle of the substrate molecule was reported here for the first time, as well as eight of the glucuronide conjugates (to hydroxy, dihydroxy, hydroxy and hydrogenation metabolites) and three of the sulphate conjugates (to aromatic hydroxy and hydroxy and hydrogenation metabolites).

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / urine
  • Bupropion / urine*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Urinalysis / methods*


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Bupropion