Simultaneous determination of dextromethorphan and three metabolites in plasma and urine using high-performance liquid chromatography with application to their disposition in man

Ther Drug Monit. 1990 Jan;12(1):97-104. doi: 10.1097/00007691-199001000-00018.


A simple, sensitive, and reproducible high-performance liquid chromatrography assay is described for the simultaneous determination of dextromethophan, dextrorphan, 3-hydroxymorphinan, and 3-methoxymorphinan in plasma and urine. A conventional solvent-solvent extraction procedure was used for the isolation of the analytes from plasma and urine samples. The compounds were separated on a cyano column (150 x 4.6 mm, 5-micron particle size) using a mobile phase of acetonitrile/triethylamine/distilled water (17:0.06:82.94, vol/vol), pH 3.0, and then were measured by fluorescence detection. Calibration curves in the range 2-200 ng/ml for plasma and 0.05-10 micrograms/ml for urine were linear and passed through the origin. The precision and accuracy were greater than 90% and the lowest detectable concentrations were 0.5 ng/ml for 3-hydroxymorphinan and 3-methoxymorphinan and 1 ng/ml for dextromethorphan and dextrophan in plasma. The utility of this method is demonstrated in a preliminary study of dextromethorphan metabolism and pharmacokinetics in man.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dextromethorphan / analogs & derivatives
  • Dextromethorphan / analysis*
  • Dextromethorphan / pharmacokinetics
  • Dextrorphan / analysis
  • Dextrorphan / pharmacokinetics
  • Glucuronidase
  • Humans
  • Levorphanol / analogs & derivatives*


  • Dextrorphan
  • Levorphanol
  • 3-methoxymorphinan
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Glucuronidase
  • norlevorphanol