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Navarro M, Pichini S, Farre M, Ortuno J, Roset PN, Segura J, de la Torre R. 
“Usefulness of saliva for measurement of 3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine and its metabolites: correlation with plasma drug concentrations and effect of salivary pH”. 
Clinical Chemistry. 2001;47(10):1788-1795.

BACKGROUND: Saliva is an alternative biologic matrix for drugs-of-abuse testing that offers the advantages of noninvasive, rapid, and easy sampling. We studied the excretion profile of 3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its metabolites in both saliva and plasma, as well the effect of the drug on salivary pH.

METHODS: Saliva and plasma samples were obtained from eight healthy MDMA consumers after ingestion of a single 100-mg dose of the drug. Concentrations of MDMA and its main metabolites, 3,4- methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA), in saliva and plasma were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Apparent pharmacokinetic parameters for MDMA in saliva were estimated, and the saliva-to-plasma ratio at each time interval was calculated and correlated with salivary pH.

RESULTS: MDMA, MDA, and HMMA were detected in saliva. Salivary concentrations of MDMA were 1728.9-6510.6 microg/L and peaked at 1.5 h after drug intake. This was followed by a progressive decrease, with a mean concentration of 126.2 microg/L at 24 h. The saliva-to-plasma ratio was 32.3-1.2, with a peak of 18.1 at 1.5 h after drug administration. Salivary pH seemed to be affected by MDMA administration; pH values decreased by 0.6 units (mean pH values of 6.9 and 6.8 at 1.5 and 4 h after drug administration vs predose pH of 7.4). CONCLUSIONS: Measurement of MDMA in saliva is a valuable alternative to determination of plasma drug concentrations in both clinical and toxicologic studies. On-site testing is also facilitated by noninvasive and rapid collection of salivary specimens.
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