Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science



First Advisor

Marta Concheiro Guisan

Second Reader

Shu-Yuan Cheng

Third Advisor

Damon Borg


Antidepressant drugs are one of the most widely used medicines for treating major depressive disorders for long time periods. Oral fluid (OF) testing offers an easy and noninvasive sample collection. Detection of antidepressants in OF is important in clinical and forensic settings, such as therapeutic drug monitoring and roadside testing for driving under influence. We developed and validated a comprehensive liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for 18 antidepressants (amitriptyline, bupropion, citalopram, clomipramine, cyclobenzaprine, desipramine, desvenlafaxine, doxepin, duloxetine, fluoxetine, imipramine, mirtazapine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, trazodone, trimipramine, venlafaxine) in oral fluid collected by Quantisal® oral collection devices. 0.5 mL of Quantisal® OF (125μL of neat OF) was submitted to solid-phase extraction. The chromatographic separation was performed employing a biphenyl column in gradient mode with a total run time of 5 min. The MS detection was achieved by multiple reaction monitoring with two transitions per compound. The range for linearity of all analytes was from 10-1,000 ng/mL, with a limit of quantitation of 10 ng/mL. Intra and Inter-day’s accuracy and precision (n=15) were all within acceptable limits, ± 20% error and ± 15% relative standard deviation. Analyte recovery at 400 ng/mL concentration (n=15) ranged from 91-129%. Matrix effect ranged from 73.7-157%. The internal proficiency test detected all antidepressants with accuracy ranging from 83.1-112.1%. The authentic patient sample showed percentage difference compare to previously calculated concentration of 86.3-111%. This method provides for the rapid detection of 18 antidepressants in OF, which is readily applicable to a routine laboratory.



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