• Journal Article

Prescription Opioids. I. Metabolism and Excretion Patterns of Oxycodone in Urine Following Controlled Single Dose Administration

Citation

Cone, E. J., Heltsley, R., Black, D. L., Mitchell, J., Lodico, C. P., & Flegel, R. R. (2013). Prescription Opioids. I. Metabolism and Excretion Patterns of Oxycodone in Urine Following Controlled Single Dose Administration. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 37(5), 255-264. DOI: 10.1093/jat/bkt031

Abstract

The ongoing epidemic of prescription opioid abuse in the United States has prompted interest in semi-synthetic opioids in the federal workplace drug testing program. This study characterized the metabolism and disposition of oxycodone (OC) in human urine. Twelve healthy adults were administered a single oral 20 mg dose of OC in a controlled clinical setting. Urine specimens were collected at timed intervals up to 52 h and analyzed by liquid chromatographytandem mass spectrometry (limit of quantitation: 50 ng/mL) for OC, oxymorphone (OM), noroxycodone (NOC) and noroxymorphone (NOM) with and without enzymatic hydrolysis. OC and NOC appeared in urine within 2 h, followed by OM and NOM. Peak concentrations of OC and metabolites occurred between 3 and 19 h. Mean peak concentrations in hydrolyzed urine were in the following order: NOC OC OM NOM. Only OM appeared to be excreted extensively as a conjugated metabolite. OC concentrations declined more quickly than NOC and OM. At a cutoff concentration of 50 ng/mL, detection times were approximately 30 h for OC and 40 h for NOC and OM. Some specimens did not contain OC, but most contained NOC, thereby facilitating interpretation that OC was the administered drug; however, five specimens contained only OM. These data provide information that should facilitate the selection of appropriate test parameters for OC in urine and assist in the interpretation of test results