Detection and quantification of cocaine metabolites
in urine samples from horses administered cocaine

Kollias-Baker C, Maxwell L, Stanley S, Boone T.
The Racing Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Florida Gainesville,
FL 32610, USA.
J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Dec;26(6):429-34


Cocaine is a naturally occurring alkaloid that is commonly abused by human-beings for its psychostimulatory effects. Occasionally, very small concentrations (i.e. <100 ng/mL) of the primary cocaine metabolite, benzoylecgonine (BZE) have been detected in urine collected from horses competing in athletic events. In this study urine samples, collected from four horses following the administration of 2.5 and 20 mg of cocaine sublingually and 50 mg of cocaine intravenously, were analyzed for the presence of cocaine and/or its metabolites by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results of ELISA analysis of urine samples collected from all four horses suggested the presence of cocaine and/or its metabolites up to 10, 48, and 72 h after administration of 2.5, 20, and 50 mg of cocaine, respectively. The results of GC-MS analysis confirmed the presence of BZE above the limit of quantification (LOQ = 5 ng/mL) in urine samples collected from all four horses for up to 24 h after administration of 2.5 mg of cocaine and for up to 48 h after administration of 20 and 50 mg of cocaine. No obvious behavioral effects or overt alterations of heart rate or rhythm were noted in any of these horses after cocaine administration.

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