Update in Amphetamines Drug of Abuse Screening

On Wednesday, July 7, 2010, an updated amphetamines test will replace the one currently used in the "DRUG OF ABUSE – URINE" [Epic # LAB500] and "DRUG OF ABUSE-URINE + CONFIRM" [Epic # LAB1032] panels. Unlike the assay used prior to July 7, 2010, the new assay has very good cross-reactivity for MDMA (Ecstasy) and other "designer" amphetamines (MDA, MBDB, MDEA). The older assay recognized amphetamine and methamphetamine well but not the other amphetamines such as MDMA/Ecstasy.

Overall, the new assay has excellent sensitivity for amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA/Ecstasy, MDA, MBDB, and MDEA ("Eve"). The new assay has very low or no cross-reactivity for non-amphetamine drugs that may share similar clinical effects to amphetamines including ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phentermine, methylphenidate, and bupropion.

The changes in the amphetamines assay are also mentioned in the comments appended to results for the drug of abuse panels and also documented in more detail in the Department of Pathology Laboratory Services Handbook.

Questions should be directed to Matthew Krasowski, MD, PhD, medical director of the Clinical Chemistry (384-9380, matthew-krasowski@uiowa.edu).