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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

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April 16, 2009

Deuterated Drugs: A Side Effect Already?

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Posted by Derek

Well, this isn't a toxicological side effect so much as an analytical chemistry one. Nature reports that forensic scientists are quite worried about the idea of deuterated drugs catching on, because they use deuterated versions of common pharmaceuticals as analytical reference standards. A lot of common analysis methods for the drugs in question would have to be junked for anyone taking the deuterated compound. And with both versions on the market, toxicologists would always be uncertain about where they stood, particularly by legal evidence standards.

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1. carras on April 16, 2009 10:50 AM writes...

That is exactly my case: in my lab we use many deuterated standards for our analysis (it is an absolute must when analysing drug residues in biological fluids or tissues using LC/MS). I don't know much about how these things are synthezised but I've always figured they could be made with 15N, 13C and so on. For example I am using 37Cl-cloranphenicol as internal standard.

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2. Celeste on April 16, 2009 8:42 PM writes...

As an analytical chemist, I can attest that widespread use of deuterated drugs would undermine many LC/MS methods. Thanks for posting, as the concept of deuterated drugs is news to me. I will certainly be on the lookout now.

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3. tom on April 18, 2009 2:49 PM writes...

Yes, deuterated standards make life much easier, but if you are really good you can also work without it in many cases. You only have to demonstrate that your LC-MS methods are robust enough with respect to various food components, co-medication and other matrix effects.

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