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An approach to shortening the timeframe between the emergence of new compounds on the drugs market and the availability of reference standards: the microscale syntheses of nitrazolam and clonazolam, for use as reference materials, utilizing polymer supported reagents

Dowling, G, Kavanagh, PV, Eckhardt, HG, Twamley, B, Hessman, G, McLaughlin, G, O’ Brien, J and Brandt, SD (2018) An approach to shortening the timeframe between the emergence of new compounds on the drugs market and the availability of reference standards: the microscale syntheses of nitrazolam and clonazolam, for use as reference materials, utilizing polymer supported reagents. Drug Testing and Analysis. ISSN 1942-7611

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Abstract

Nitrazolam and clonazolam are two designer benzodiazepines that are available from internet retailers and there is growing evidence suggesting that such compounds have the potential to cause severe adverse events. Information about tolerability in humans is scarce but typically, low doses can be difficult to administer for users when handling bulk material and variability of the active ingredient in tablet formulations can also be of a concern. Customs, toxicology and forensic laboratories are increasingly encountering designer benzodiazepines, both in tablet and powdered forms, and the unavailability of reference standards can impact on the ability to identify these compounds. Therefore, the need arises for exploring in-house approaches to the preparation of NPS that can be carried out in a timely manner. The present study was triggered when samples of clonazolam were received in powdered and tablet form at a time when reference material for this drug was commercially unavailable. Therefore, microscale syntheses of clonazolam and its deschloro analogue nitrazolam were developed utilizing polymer supported-reagents starting from 2-amino-5-chlorobenzophenone (clonazolam) and 2-amino-5-nitrobenzophenone (nitrazolam). The final reaction step forming the 1,2,4-triazole ring moiety was performed within the GC-MS injector. A comparison with a preparative scale synthesis of both benzodiazepine derivatives showed that microscale synthesis might be an attractive option for a forensic laboratory in terms of time and cost savings when compared with traditional methods of synthesis and when qualitative identifications are needed to direct forensic casework. The reaction by-product profiles for both the micro and preparative scale syntheses are also presented.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of the following article: Dowling G, Kavanagh PV, Eckhardt H‐G, et al. An approach to shortening the timeframe between the emergence of new compounds on the drugs market and the availability of reference standards: The microscale syntheses of nitrazolam and clonazolam for use as reference materials, utilizing polymer‐supported reagents. Drug Test Anal. 2018;1–11. which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dta.2383
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0301 Analytical Chemistry, 1115 Pharmacology And Pharmaceutical Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 24 May 2018 09:23
Last Modified: 24 May 2018 09:23
DOI or Identification number: 10.1002/dta.2383
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8261

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