Hydrolysis

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Drug Testing Methods in the Clinical Toxicology Laboratory. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Hydrolysis

Some drugs are conjugated to glucuronic acid to aid in their elimination from the body. For these drugs, very little of the parent drug will be detected in the urine, most of the drug will be in the conjugated form. Most laboratories do not have assays that measure glucuronides. Instead, most labs process specimens to convert the conjugated drug back to the unconjugated free form of the drug. by performing an acid, alkaline, or enzyme hydrolysis on the urine specimen before extraction and analysis by GC/MS or LC/MS.
Drugs that are found as glucuronidated conjugates:
  • THC-COOH
  • Morphine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Oxymorphone