Prescription Opioids. VI. Metabolism and Excretion of Hydromorphone in Urine Following Controlled Single-Dose Administration
Hydromorphone (HM), a prescription opioid and metabolite of morphine and hydrocodone, has been included in proposed revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. This study characterized the time course of HM in hydrolyzed and non-hydrolyzed urine specimens. Twelve healthy subjects were administered a single 8 mg controlled-release HM dose, followed by periodic collection of pooled urine specimens for 54 h following administration. Analysis of total and free HM was conducted by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry at a 50 ng/mL limit of quantitation. Detection periods were determined over a range of thresholds from 50 to 2,000 ng/mL. HM was detected in 85.3% and 47.6% of hydrolyzed and non-hydrolyzed post-dose specimens, respectively. Initial detection of total HM was frequently observed in the first 4-6 h following dosing. The period of detection at the 50 ng/mL threshold averaged 52.3 h for total HM and 38.0 h for free HM. These data support that HM detection is optimized by using low thresholds (50-100 ng/mL) and including conjugated HM in the analysis.