Investigation of plasma concentrations of paracetamol, metacetamol, and orthocetamol in Japanese racehorses using liquid chromatography–electrospray ionisation–tandem mass spectrometry

Hideaki Ishii, Taku Obara, Isao Kijima-Suda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Paracetamol is used widely as an over-the-counter analgesic and antipyretic medication for humans, but not for Japanese racehorses. Paracetamol can be an environmental substance, and is found together with its two isomers, metacetamol and orthocetamol, in equine urine. However, the sources and routes of paracetamol exposure remain unclear. To control the misuse of paracetamol, it is appropriate to establish residue limits for paracetamol to differentiate the administration of paracetamol from its environmental levels. In this study, we developed and validated a quantitative method for paracetamol, metacetamol, and orthocetamol in equine plasma using liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometry and applied it to postrace samples from 320 Japanese racehorses for approximately 1 year. In addition, we conducted feed analysis and related pharmacokinetics simulations to evaluate the contributions from exposure via feed. The hydrolyzed plasma concentrations of paracetamol, metacetamol, and orthocetamol ranged from 0.787 to 39.8 ng/mL (median 5.87 ng/mL), 0 to 2.13 ng/mL (0.347 ng/mL), and 1.98 to 82.8 ng/mL (16.6 ng/mL), respectively. Such low concentrations of paracetamol were deemed irrelevant to therapeutic effect. Based on statistical analysis, the preliminary Japanese residue limits of unhydrolyzed and hydrolyzed paracetamol were determined to be 70.5 ng/mL and 112 ng/mL, respectively, in plasma, at a risk factor of 1 in 10,000. Furthermore, we detected paracetamol and orthocetamol in feed samples. A pharmacokinetics simulation showed that the presence of orthocetamol is most probably related to daily feed rations. As for paracetamol, feed can be one of the sources and other possible sources require further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-937
Number of pages9
JournalDrug Testing and Analysis
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1

Keywords

  • LC
  • MS/MS
  • equine
  • metacetamol
  • orthocetamol
  • paracetamol
  • plasma concentration
  • residue limit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Spectroscopy

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