, Volume 376, Issue 8, pp 1198-1204
Date: 04 Jul 2003

Elimination of 7-aminoclonazepam in urine after a single dose of clonazepam

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The objective of this paper was to determine how long after administration of benzodiazepine clonazepam (CLO), its major metabolite 7-aminoclonazepam (7-ACLO) could be detected in urine collected from 10 healthy volunteers who received a single 3-mg dose of Klonopin (clonazepam). Such data would be of great importance to law enforcement agencies trying to determine the best time interval for urine collection from a victim of drug-facilitated sexual assault in order to reveal drug use. A highly sensitive NCI–GC–MS method for the simultaneous quantitation of CLO and its major metabolite 7-ACLO in urine was developed and validated. The following urine samples were collected from each volunteer: one before CLO administration, and 6 h, and 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 14, 21 and 28 days after. All urine samples (1 mL) were extracted following addition of the internal standard (D5-diazepam) and enzymatic hydrolysis (β-glucuronidase) using solid-phase extraction columns. Standard curves for CLO (500–4000 pg mL−1) and 7-ACLO (50–2000 pg mL−1) were prepared by spiking aliquots of negative urine. The urine from every subject was still positive for 7-ACLO 14 days after administration of the drug. Eight of the ten volunteers had measurable amounts of the metabolite 21 days after administration. One volunteer was still positive 28 days after administration. Six of the volunteers had urine concentrations of 7-ACLO that peaked at 1 day after administration. One volunteer had the highest concentration of 7-ACLO at 3 days, two volunteers at 5 days, and one at 8 days. The range of concentrations detected was from 73.0 pg mL−1 to 183.2 ng mL−1. CLO was not detected in any of the samples.