Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 388, Issue 1, pp 235–243 | Cite as

Simultaneous analysis of classical neuroleptics, atypical antipsychotics and their metabolites in human plasma

  • Laura Mercolini
  • Maria Grillo
  • Claudio Bartoletti
  • Giancarlo Boncompagni
  • Maria Augusta Raggi
Original Paper


A high-performance liquid chromatographic method has been developed for the simultaneous determination of classical neuroleptics (chlorpromazine, haloperidol, loxapine and clotiapine), atypical antipsychotics (clozapine, quetiapine and risperidone) and their active metabolites (N-desmethylclozapine, clozapine N-oxide and 9-hydroxyrisperidone) in human plasma. Separation was obtained by using a C8 reversed-phase column and a mobile phase composed of 70% aqueous phosphate buffer containing triethylamine at pH 3.0 and 30% acetonitrile. The UV detector was set at 238 nm and amitriptyline was used as the internal standard. A careful pre-treatment procedure of plasma samples was developed, using solid-phase extraction with cyanopropyl cartridges, which gives high extraction yields (≥93%). The limits of quantitation (LOQ) were always lower than 2.6 ng mL−1 and the limits of detection (LOD) were always lower than 0.9 ng mL−1 for all analytes. The method was applied with success to plasma samples from schizophrenic patients undergoing polypharmacy with two or more different antipsychotics. Precision data and accuracy results were satisfactory and no interference from other central nervous system (CNS) drugs was found. Hence the method is suitable for the therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of the analytes in psychotic patients’ plasma.


Antipsychotic drugs HPLC Polypharmacy Human plasma Solid-phase extraction 



The authors would like to thank Lederle Laboratories, Novartis Italia, AstraZeneca and Janssen Pharmaceuticals for providing pure compounds for the development of this assay. This study was supported by MIUR (Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca, Rome, Italy) with RFO (Ricerca Fondamentale Orientata, ex-60%) and PRIN (Progetti di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale, ex-40%) funds.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Mercolini
    • 1
  • Maria Grillo
    • 1
  • Claudio Bartoletti
    • 2
  • Giancarlo Boncompagni
    • 3
  • Maria Augusta Raggi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of PharmacyAlma Mater Studiorum-University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Mental Health DepartmentAUSL BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Mental Health Department“M. Malpighi” HospitalBolognaItaly

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