The aim of this study is to define, for the first time, human methylone and HMMC plasma pharmacokinetics following controlled administration of 50–200 mg methylone to 12 male volunteers. A new LC-MS/MS method was validated to quantify methylone, MDMA, and their metabolites in plasma. The study was a randomized, cross-over, double-blinded and placebo-controlled study, with a total of 468 plasma samples collected. First, 10 µL of MDMA-d5, MDA-d5 and methylone-d3 internal standards were added to 100 µL of plasma. Two mL of chloroform and ethyl acetate 9:1 (v/v) were then added, mixed well and centrifuged. The supernatant was fortified with 0.1 mL acidified methanol and evaporated under nitrogen. Samples were reconstituted with a mobile phase and injected into the LC-MS/MS instrument. The method was fully validated according to OSAC guidelines (USA). Methylone plasma concentrations increased in a dose-proportional manner, as demonstrated by the increasing maximum concentration (Cmax) and area under the curve of concentrations (AUC). Methylone Cmax values were reported as 153, 304, 355 and 604 ng/mL, AUC0–24 values were reported as 1042.8, 2441.2, 3524.4 and 5067.9 h·ng/mL and T1/2 values as 5.8, 6.4, 6.9 and 6.4 h following the 50, 100, 150 and 200 mg doses, respectively. Methylone exhibited rapid kinetics with a Tmax of 1.5 h for the 50 mg dose and 2 h approximately after all the other doses. HMMC exhibited faster kinetics compared to methylone, with a Cmax value that was 10–14-fold lower and an AUC0–24 value that was 21–29-fold lower. Methylone pharmacokinetics was linear across 50–200 mg oral doses in humans, unlike the previously described non-linear oral MDMA pharmacokinetics. An LC-MS/MS method for the quantification of methylone, MDMA and their metabolites in human plasma was achieved. Methylone exhibited linear pharmacokinetics in humans with oral doses of 50–200 mg.
Poyatos, Lourdes; Lo Faro, Alfredo Fabrizio; Berardinelli, Diletta; Sprega, Giorgia; Malaca, Sara; Pichini, Simona; Huestis, Marilyn A.; Papaseit, Esther; Pérez-Mañá, Clara; Busardò, Francesco Paolo; and Farré, Magí, "Methylone and MDMA Pharmacokinetics Following Controlled Administration in Humans" (2022). Institute of Emerging Health Professions Faculty Papers. Paper 19.
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