Impact of Pharmaceutical Impurities in Ecstasy Tablets: Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Study

Document Type: Research article


1 -

2 Dept of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Chamran Universitry, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Dept of Chemistry, Azad University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran

4 Dept of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Dept of Chemistry, Khoramshahr University of Marine Science and Technology, Khoramshahr, Iran


In this study, a simple and reliable method by gas chromatograph–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) was developed for the fast and regular identification of 3, 4-MDMA impurities in ecstasy tablets. In so doing, 8 samples of impurities were extracted by diethyl ether under alkaline condition and then analyzed by GC–MS. The results revealed high MDMA levels ranging from 37.6% to 57.7%. The GC-MS method showed that unambiguous identification can be achieved for MDMA from 3, 4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), Amphetamine (AM), methamphetamine (MA) and ketamine (Keta) compounds, respectively. The experimental results indicated the acceptable time window without interfering peaks. It is found that GC-MS was provided a suitable and rapid identification approach for MDMA (Ecstacy) tablets, particularly in the Forensic labs. Consequently, the intense MDMA levels would support the police to develop a simple quantification of impurity in Ecstasy tablets.


Main Subjects