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Wednesday, August 27 Free Topics

Dirinck I., Meyer E., Lambert W., De Leenheer A.
Laboratorium voor Toxicologie, Universiteit Gent, Harelbekestraat 72. B-9000 Gent, Belgium

So called "designer drugs" are popular among recreational drug users for their stimulating and mood-modifying properties. Many of these compounds are derived from the phenethylamine structure. A screening method optimized for amphetamine-like compounds in confiscated powders and tablets with GC/FTIR is presented. Aliquots of the methanolic solutions of the unknown samples are analyzed with PTV-injection on a HP-1 column under the following conditions: initial temperature 60° C held for 0.2 min, 30° C/min ramp to 110° C, held for 1,5 min, 5° C/min ramp to 150° C and 30° C/min ramp to 250° C, held for 10 min. The obtained vapor phase spectra are submitted to a spectral search on a laboratory-made amphetamine library. Recently, two different amphetamine analogues were encountered for the first time in our laboratory. They were identified as 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxy-phenethylamine (DOBP, Nexus or 2C-B) (1) and N-methyl-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-butanamine (MBDB) (2). Both structures are non-controlled substancesin Belgium. Interestingly, the seizures which were sold as 2C-B, were presented as mini tablets (5 mm in diameter). FT-IR vapor phase spectral data for both compounds are presented and compared with spectral data of related phenethylamines. 2C-B has characteristic absorption bands at 1039, 1210, 1381 and 1491 cm-1, while MBDB shows minor differences from its analogue MDMA at the C-H stretch vibration region. Identity confirmation of the amphetamines was completed with additional GC-MS, HPLC-DAD and NMR data. Quantitative GC/FTIR and /MS analyses were performed on the 2C-B exhibits after derivatization with heptafluorobutyric anhydride. In conclusion, the GC/FTIR method is able to distinguish two new amphetamine analogues from other related designer drugs that are commonly encountered on the Belgian drug scene.


  1. J. DeRuiter et al., J. Chrom. Sci., 1995, 33, 583-590.
  2. C. R. Clark et al., J. Chrom. Sci., 1996, 34, 230-237.

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