Hair analysis for drugs of abuse. XIII. Effect of structural factors on incorporation of drugs into hair: the incorporation rates of amphetamine analogs

Arch Toxicol. 1996;70(12):841-9. doi: 10.1007/s002040050348.


In order to clarify the incorporation mechanism of drugs from blood into hair, seven effects of structural factors on the incorporation rate (ICR) were studied using 32 amphetamine analogs: (1) effect of a straight chained N-alkyl group; (2) effect of benzene and furan ring at N-position; (3) effect of aliphatic and aromatic hydroxy groups; (4) effect of triple bond group at N-position; (5) effect of N-acyl group and ketone group; (6) effect of methylenedioxy and methoxy groups on benzene ring; and (7) comparison between phenyltertiarybutylamines and phenylisopropylamines. After shaving the back hair and i.p. administration of drugs to Dark-Agouti rats (5 mg/kg, 10 days, n = 3), the areas under the concentration versus time curve (AUCs) of drugs in the plasma and the concentrations in hair newly grown for 4 weeks were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The ICRs represented by the ratios of hair concentrations to AUCs were compared with those of amphetamine (AP) and methamphetamine (MA). The ICRs of N-alkyl AP increased depending on the length of carbon branches from proton to propyl (C3 > C2 > C1 > H) at N-position. The compounds containing a benzene or furan ring at the N-position (benzphetamine, clobenzorex, norbenzphetamine, prenylamine, furfenorex, and norfurfenorex) had much higher ICRs than those of AP or MA, suggesting that a benzene or furan ring increases their ICRs. The ICRs of deprenyl, nordeprenyl, and fenproporex were significantly low, implying that triple bonds such as of a propargyl or cyano group serve as a negative factor for the ICRs. An ephedrine group (ephedrine, methylephedrine, phenylpropanolamine) showed slightly lower ICRs than the corresponding amphetamine group. However, a hydroxy group on benzene ring apparently decreased the ICRs. Methoxy and methylenedioxy groups on benzene ring distinctly increased their ICRs. The lack of basicity such as N-formyl MA, N-acetyl AP, and N-acetyl MA dramatically lowered their ICRs to zero or nearly zero. Moreover, the compounds containing a ketone group adjacent to benzene ring, e.g., cathinone and amfepramone, showed very low ICRs. Chlorine on propyl group (mefenorex) or benzene ring (clobenzorex) seemed to act positively for the ICR. These results showed that structural factors related to the lipophilicity and basicity clearly affect the drug incorporation into hair from blood.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamines / administration & dosage
  • Amphetamines / blood
  • Amphetamines / chemistry
  • Amphetamines / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Buffers
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hair / chemistry
  • Hair / metabolism*
  • Illicit Drugs / analysis*
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Amphetamines
  • Buffers
  • Illicit Drugs