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The Hive => Serious Chemistry => Topic started by: Rhodium on October 18, 2003, 06:13:00 PM

Title: Isotopic changes during drug synthesis
Post by: Rhodium on October 18, 2003, 06:13:00 PM
Isotopic characterisation of 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (ecstasy)
James F. Carter, Emma L. Titterton , Martin Murray and Richard Sleeman

Analyst 127(6), 830-833 (2002) (


10.1039/b201496n (

Combined 2H, 13C and 15N isotopic analysis of MDA and MDMA extracted from seized ecstasy tablets provides an isotopic fingerprint of the active ingredient allowing individual tablets to be linked to a common batch. Correlating these data with 2H NMR analysis of the extracts has the potential to study both the natural precursor materials and synthetic pathways used in the preparation of MDA and N-substituted homologues.

Isotopic changes during the synthesis of amphetamines
James F. Carter, Emma L. Titterton , Helen Grant and Richard Sleeman

Chem. Commun. (21), 2590-2591 (2002) (


10.1039/b207775b (

Observed variations in the 13C and 15N content of amphetamines are shown to be attributable to kinetic isotope effects during synthesis; chemical degradation and isotopic characterisation provides a means to identify the synthetic origins of illicit MDMA and other amphetamines.
Title: Establishing the synthetic origin of ...
Post by: Rhodium on June 06, 2004, 02:12:00 AM
Establishing the synthetic origin of amphetamines by 2H-NMR spectroscopy
S. Armellin, E. Brenna, G. Fronza, C. Fuganti, M. Pinciroli and S. Serra

Analyst, 129(2), 130-133 (2004) (


10.1039/b308749b (

Nine samples of N-acetyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (N-acetyl-MDA), prepared according to the most common synthetic procedures, are submitted to 2H-NMR spectroscopy. The relative deuterium content at the various sites of the molecule is shown to depend on its synthetic history. The technique provides a chemical fingerprint of N-acetyl-MDAs and it can be used to trace back the precursor materials and the synthetic pathways employed in the preparation of the samples.


Scheme 3

i. 3-Chloroperbenzoic acid; ii. LiAlH4; iii. p-toluenesulphonyl chloride, pyridine; iv. NaN3; v. H2, Pd/C, Ac2O;
vi. Hg(OCOCH3)2, NaBH4; vii. CrO3; viii. NH2OH; ix. Ac2O; x. HBr, AcOH; xi. NH3.

Title: Determination of Origin of Ephedrine Used as...
Post by: Rhodium on September 02, 2004, 11:13:00 PM
Determination of Origin of Ephedrine Used as Precursor for Illicit Methamphetamine by Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis
Naoki Kurashima, Yukiko Makino, Setsuko Sekita, Yasuteru Urano, and Tetsuo Nagano

Anal. Chem. 76, 4233-4236 (2004) (


The sale of ephedrine, one of the precursors of methamphetamine, is strictly controlled and monitored in various countries to prevent the production of illicit methamphetamine. There are three kinds of production scheme for ephedrine manufacture, and it is very useful for precursor control to investigate the origin of ephedrine used for the synthesis of illicit methamphetamine. By means of stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IR-MS), we investigated the origin of ephedrine based on the ?13C and ?15N values. The various origins of ephedrine (biosynthetic, semisynthetic, or synthetic) could be discriminated clearly by using these values. The ?15N values of synthetic ephedrine were more negative than those of ephedrine from other sources. By the repeated distillation of methylamine in our laboratory, we confirmed that this could be due to isotope separation during distillation for the purification of methylamine used for ephedrine synthesis. The values for ephedrine used as the precursor were well-correlated with those for methamphetamine synthesized from it. This drug characterization analysis should be useful to illuminate the origin of the precursors used for clandestine methamphetamine and to trace the diversion of medicinal ephedrine for illicit manufacture of methamphetamine.