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Subject: Barbiturates

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Definition and Use

  • Older class of CNS depressants. Largely replaced by benzodiazepines and newer hypnotics such as zolpidem. Current main use as anticonvulsants, in treatment of migraines, and in reduction of cerebral edema and intracranial pressure resulting from head injury

    • Screening

      • Immunoassays for automated chemistry analyzers

      • Urine

      • Serum/plasma/blood

        • EMIT, ELISA, FPIA

        • Target analyte—secobarbital

        • Cutoff concentration—10–50 ng/mL ELISA; 1,000 ng/mL EMIT

        • Cross-reactivity—manufacturer kit reagent dependent:

  • Confirmation: chromatography or UV–visible spectrophotometry

    • Sample pretreatment required

    • Gas chromatography

    • HPLC

    • GC/MS

      • LC/MS

      • Limit of quantitation: analyte dependent—0.5–5.0 μg/mL