FENTANYL and analogs, such as sufentanil, carfentanil, and alfentanil are commonly used in human and veterinary medicine.  RML provides for the analyses of these parent drugs and several of their metabolites in serum,  urine, and hair.  The metabolites of forensic interest are primarily the desalkyl forms. We analyze fentanyl, norfentanyl and despropionyl-fentanyl in addition to the other fentanyl class drugs.   As with any potent narcotic, the fentanyls are both therapeutically useful and subject to abuse.

We use HPLC/MS/MS (tandem MS) for each of these, which provides far better sensitivity than does the use of HPLC/MS (single MS) or GC/MS. Our limits of detection for the various fentanyls is 10pg/mL with a 1mL sample.  Note that alfentanil was designed to be a short acting fentanyl and is, therefore, less stable in biological samples. The lower limit of quantitation is generally 25pg/mL with a 1mL sample. We offer the analysis of fentanyl and analogs in hair samples.  We use HPLC/MS/MS for this.  It is essential that tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry with high pressure liquid chromatography (LC/MS/MS) be used for this testing -- and used correctly -- so that false positive results can be avoided.  We have seen a number of false positive results generated in other laboratories by the inept use of good quality instruments.  

We also offer an excellent HPLC/MS/MS assay for LSD in serum, urine, and hair.  The sensitivity is comparable to that for the fentanyls.  Although fentanyl and analogs may be analyzed using immunoassays (RIA or ELISA) or GC/MS, these methods provide less sensitivity and specificity than does LC/MS/MS.  Immunoassays must never be used as proof of the presence of a drug.  We have found a significant number of false positives that were reported by other laboratories.  LCMSMS can give incorrect results if it is not used skillfully.

Please contact us for costs and turn around time.  Ask for Dr. Patricia Sulik or Dr. Robert Lantz.  We are certified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for the forensic analysis of drugs and alcohol in blood and urine and are registered with and inspected by FDA.

Rocky Mountain Instrumental Laboratories
108 Coronado Ct.
Ft. Collins, CO 80525



Last Update:   17 APRIL 2012