Volume 22, Issue 1 (January 1977)
Simultaneous Determination of Cocaine and Benzoyl Ecgonine in Urine by Gas Chromatography with On-Column Alkylation
Cocaine, as a pharmacologically active alkaloid from the leaves of the Erythroxylon coca bush, is the most powerful naturally occurring stimulant known. The history of its use as a stimulant by the Indians of Peru and Bolivia goes back as far as 1200 years. In the past 116 years the pharmacological and addictive properties of cocaine have been studied. More recently, reports have shown cocaine abuse among 10 to 24.1% of narcotic addicts for infrequent periods dating back to 1968 , and seizures of illicit cocaine are frequently reported in the news. Yet in spite of its extensive use the user is not readily identified, nor has cocaine's role in fatal poisoning been fully examined. Cocaine's potential for abuse is well known, but exhaustive epidemiological and toxicological data are, on the whole, unavailable. This lack of data may be due to the technological inability to assay for free cocaine by normal analytical methods because of its extensive metabolism to benzoyl ecgonine [2–6]. The obvious point of attack, then, in the problem of cocaine abuse detection would be the perfection of a reliable analysis for benzoyl ecgonine.