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Development of an analytical method for the determination of methylphenidate, ethylphenidate and ritalinic acid in oral fluid samples using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

Grant number: 19/02866-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2020
Effective date (End): January 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy - Toxicological Analysis
Principal researcher:José Luiz da Costa
Grantee:Kauê de Oliveira Chinaglia
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCF). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/02147-0 - Single drop chromatography and its coupling to mass spectrometry: instrumental strategies, development of materials, automation and analytical applications, AP.TEM


Methylphenidate (MFD) is an active principle known in Brazil under the trade name Ritalin®, a substance structurally related to amphetamines. It is one of the most consumed stimulants in the world, being used mainly for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, due to psychostimulatory effects, many university students who do not present criteria that justify the use of the drug and its analogue methylphenidate (EFD), use them as a means to improve the yield of the studies, since the drug also increases the ability to concentrate, attention and alertness in healthy people. The use of MFD to improve cognitive performance was called "pharmacological cognitive enhancement" and drew the attention of several countries such as Canada, the United States and Brazil. Although there are several cases in the world of abusive use of MFD and EFD, there are few methods related to quantification using oral fluid and campaigns to prevent the use of these compounds as drugs of abuse. The objective of this study is to develop a quantitative method for the analysis of methylphenidate, methylphenidate analogue and ritualistic acid metabolite in oral fluid using liquid chromatography coupled to sequential mass spectrometry (LC-MS / MS). The method developed will be used for the analysis of oral fluid samples collected at university festivities in the city of Campinas-SP.

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