Determination of urinary concentrations of pseudoephedrine and cathine after therapeutic administration of pseudoephedrine-containing medications to healthy subjects: implications for doping control analysis of these stimulants banned in sport

Drug Test Anal. 2012 May;4(5):320-9. doi: 10.1002/dta.291. Epub 2011 May 6.


Due to its stimulatory effects on the central nervous system, and its structural similarity to banned stimulants such as ephedrine and methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine (PSE) at high doses is considered as an ergogenic aid for boosting athletic performance. However, the status of PSE in the International Standard of the Prohibited List as established under the World Anti-Doping Code has changed over the years, being prohibited until 2003 at a urinary cut-off value of 25 µg/ml, and then subsequently removed from the Prohibited List during the period 2004-2009. The re-consideration of this position by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) List Expert Group has led to the reintroduction of PSE in the Prohibited List in 2010. In this manuscript, we present the results of two WADA-sponsored clinical studies on the urinary excretion of PSE and its metabolite cathine (CATH) following the oral administration of different PSE formulations to healthy individuals at therapeutic regimes. On this basis, the current analytical urinary threshold for the detection of PSE as a doping agent in sport has been conservatively established at 150 µg/ml

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bronchodilator Agents / metabolism
  • Bronchodilator Agents / urine*
  • Calibration
  • Doping in Sports
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenylpropanolamine / administration & dosage
  • Phenylpropanolamine / metabolism
  • Phenylpropanolamine / urine*
  • Pseudoephedrine / administration & dosage
  • Pseudoephedrine / metabolism
  • Pseudoephedrine / urine*
  • Substance Abuse Detection*


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • norpseudoephedrine
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • Pseudoephedrine