Quantification of nimetazepam and its metabolite in human hair samples using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry: Case report

Leg Med (Tokyo). 2023 Nov:65:102303. doi: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2023.102303. Epub 2023 Aug 1.


Nimetazepam (marketed brand names; Erimin and Lavol) is an intermediate acting benzodiazepine derivative, which was widely used mainly in East and Southeast Asian region countries including Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore and China. Nimetazepam and its metabolite 7-aminonimetazepam were quantified from human hair samples by liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), under selective reaction monitoring mode. Using diazepam-d5 as an internal standard, the concentration of nimetazepam and its metabolite 7-aminonimetazepam could be determined by matrix matched calibration method. Extraction of the target compounds was performed by using methanol, followed by evaporation and being concentrated with nitrogen. The Limit of quantification concentrations of nimetazepam and its metabolite 7-aminonimetazepam in hair samples were both 25 pg/mg by established method. The concentrations of nimetazepam in hair samples obtained from 2 users were 27.4, and 22.0 pg/mg, respectively; the concentrations of 7-animonimetazepam in hair samples were 54.2 and 29.1 pg/mg, respectively. In our study, the 7-aminonimetazepam concentrations in hair was higher than those of nimetazepam in the authentic hair samples. To our knowledge, this is the first report to establish the detailed procedure for quantificating nimetazepam and 7-aminonimetazepam in human hair by LC-MS/MS.

Keywords: 7-Aminonimetazepam; Hair sample; LC–MS/MS; Metabolite; Nimetazepam.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Hair* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry* / methods


  • nimetazepam