Determination of levamisole and tetramisole in seized cocaine samples by enantioselective high-performance liquid chromatography and circular dichroism detection
Carlo Bertucci, Daniele Tedesco, Edoardo Fabini, Anna Maria Di Pietra, Francesca Rossi, Marco Garagnani, Elia Del Borrello, Vincenza Andrisano
Journal of Chromatography A
Levamisole, an anthelmintic drug, has been increasingly employed as an adulterant of illicit street cocaine over the last decade; recently, the use of tetramisole, the racemic mixture of levamisole and its enantiomer dexamisole, was also occasionally observed. A new enantioselective high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method, performed on cellulose tris(3,5-dimethylphenylcarbamate) chiral stationary phases in normal-phase mode, was validated to determine the enantiomeric composition of tetramisole enantiomers in seized cocaine samples. Furthermore, the hyphenation of the validated HPLC method with a circular dichroism (CD) detection system allowed the direct determination of elution order and a selective monitoring of levamisole and dexamisole in the presence of possible interferences. The method was applied to the identification and quantitation of the two enantiomers of tetramisole in seized street cocaine samples.
Circular dichroism, Stereochemistry, Pharmaceutical