Butalbital, a barbiturate, is present in analgesic combinations used by headache sufferers. Overuse/abuse of these combinations may cause dependence, chronic migraine, and medication-overuse headache (MOH). MOH is difficult to manage: it improves interrupting analgesic overuse, but requires monitoring, because relapses are frequent. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) method for hair analysis has been developed and validated to document abuse of an analgesic combination containing butalbital and propyphenazone by a patient with MOH. For over ten years the patient managed her headache using eight suppositories/day of an analgesic combination containing butalbital 150 mg, caffeine 75 mg, and propyphenazone 375 mg per suppository. An outpatient detoxification treatment was carried out. After three weeks, the patient reduced the consumption to one suppository/day. At the first control visit, after three months from the beginning of detoxification, the patient increased the use of the combination to four suppositories/day and at the second control visit, after seven months from the beginning of detoxification, she was back to eight suppositories/day. At the two control visits, a hair sample was taken for determination of butalbital and propyphenazone. Moreover blood and urine samples for determination of butalbital were drawn at the beginning of detoxification treatment and at the two control visits. With the segmental analysis of two hair samples the medication history of ten months could be estimated. In the first hair sample, collected at the first control visit, in the distal segment, butalbital and propyphenazone concentrations were, respectively, 17.5 ng/mg and 56.0 ng/mg, confirming the prolonged abuse; in the proximal segment, concurrently with the detoxification treatment, butalbital and propyphenazone concentrations had reduced respectively to 5.45 ng/mg and 11.1 ng/mg. The second hair sample, collected at the second control visit, proved the fair course of the detoxification treatment in the distal segment and signalled relapse in the abuse of the analgesic combination in the proximal segment. In the clinical context, hair analysis can be advantageously used to monitor the abuse of analgesic combinations with butalbital, common among headache patients. The validation data showed that GC–MS method developed for determination of butalbital and propyphenazone was rapid, highly sensitive, specific and selective.

Hair analysis to monitor abuse of analgesic combinations containing butalbital and propyphenazone / Ferrari, Anna; Tiraferri, Ilaria; Palazzoli, Federica; Verri, Patrizia; Vandelli, Daniele; Marchesi, Filippo; Ciccarese, Michela; Licata, Manuela. - In: JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND BIOMEDICAL ANALYSIS. - ISSN 0731-7085. - ELETTRONICO. - 115:(2015), pp. 576-579. [10.1016/j.jpba.2015.08.015]

Hair analysis to monitor abuse of analgesic combinations containing butalbital and propyphenazone

FERRARI, Anna
;
PALAZZOLI, Federica;MARCHESI, FILIPPO;LICATA, Manuela
2015-01-01

Abstract

Butalbital, a barbiturate, is present in analgesic combinations used by headache sufferers. Overuse/abuse of these combinations may cause dependence, chronic migraine, and medication-overuse headache (MOH). MOH is difficult to manage: it improves interrupting analgesic overuse, but requires monitoring, because relapses are frequent. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) method for hair analysis has been developed and validated to document abuse of an analgesic combination containing butalbital and propyphenazone by a patient with MOH. For over ten years the patient managed her headache using eight suppositories/day of an analgesic combination containing butalbital 150 mg, caffeine 75 mg, and propyphenazone 375 mg per suppository. An outpatient detoxification treatment was carried out. After three weeks, the patient reduced the consumption to one suppository/day. At the first control visit, after three months from the beginning of detoxification, the patient increased the use of the combination to four suppositories/day and at the second control visit, after seven months from the beginning of detoxification, she was back to eight suppositories/day. At the two control visits, a hair sample was taken for determination of butalbital and propyphenazone. Moreover blood and urine samples for determination of butalbital were drawn at the beginning of detoxification treatment and at the two control visits. With the segmental analysis of two hair samples the medication history of ten months could be estimated. In the first hair sample, collected at the first control visit, in the distal segment, butalbital and propyphenazone concentrations were, respectively, 17.5 ng/mg and 56.0 ng/mg, confirming the prolonged abuse; in the proximal segment, concurrently with the detoxification treatment, butalbital and propyphenazone concentrations had reduced respectively to 5.45 ng/mg and 11.1 ng/mg. The second hair sample, collected at the second control visit, proved the fair course of the detoxification treatment in the distal segment and signalled relapse in the abuse of the analgesic combination in the proximal segment. In the clinical context, hair analysis can be advantageously used to monitor the abuse of analgesic combinations with butalbital, common among headache patients. The validation data showed that GC–MS method developed for determination of butalbital and propyphenazone was rapid, highly sensitive, specific and selective.
18-ago-2015
115
576
579
Hair analysis to monitor abuse of analgesic combinations containing butalbital and propyphenazone / Ferrari, Anna; Tiraferri, Ilaria; Palazzoli, Federica; Verri, Patrizia; Vandelli, Daniele; Marchesi, Filippo; Ciccarese, Michela; Licata, Manuela. - In: JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND BIOMEDICAL ANALYSIS. - ISSN 0731-7085. - ELETTRONICO. - 115:(2015), pp. 576-579. [10.1016/j.jpba.2015.08.015]
Ferrari, Anna; Tiraferri, Ilaria; Palazzoli, Federica; Verri, Patrizia; Vandelli, Daniele; Marchesi, Filippo; Ciccarese, Michela; Licata, Manuela
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