'NBOMe' (dimethoxyphenyl-N-[(2-methoxyphenyl)methyl]ethanamine) derivatives are a new class of designer hallucinogenic drugs widely available on the Internet. Currently, 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-[(2-methoxyphenyl)methyl]ethanamine (25I-NBOMe) is the most popular abused derivative in the USA. There are little published data on the absorption, metabolism and elimination of 25I-NBOMe, or any of the other NBOMe derivatives. Therefore, there are no definitive metabolite biomarkers. We present the identification of fifteen 25I-NBOMe metabolites in phase I and II mouse hepatic microsomal preparations, and analysis of two human urine samples from 25I-NBOMe-intoxicated patients to test the utility of these metabolites as biomarkers of 25I-NBOMe use. The synthesis of two major urinary metabolites, 2-iodo-4-methoxy-5-[2-[(2-methoxyphenyl) methylamino]ethyl]phenol (2-O-desmethyl-5-I-NBOMe,M5) and 5-iodo-4-methoxy-2-[2-[(2-methoxyphenyl) methylamino]ethyl]phenol (5-O-desmethyl-2-I-NBOMe), is also presented. Seven phase II glucuronidated metabolites of the O-desmethyl or the hydroxylated phase I metabolites were identified. One human urine sample contained 25I-NBOMe as well as all 15 metabolites identified in mouse hepatic microsomal preparations. Another human urine sample contained no parent 25I-NBOMe, but was found to contain three O-desmethyl metabolites. We recommend β-glucuronidase enzymatic hydrolysis of urine prior to 25I-NBOMe screening and the use of M5 as the primary biomarker in drug testing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Chemical Health and Safety