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Trace analysis of antidepressant pharmaceuticals and their select degradates in aquatic matrixes by LC/ESI/MS/MS

January 1, 2008

Treated wastewater effluent is a potential environmental point source for antidepressant pharmaceuticals. A quantitative method was developed for the determination of trace levels of antidepressants in environmental aquatic matrixes using solid-phase extraction coupled with liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Recoveries of parent antidepressants from matrix spiking experiments for the individual antidepressants ranged from 72 to 118% at low concentrations (0.5 ng/L) and 70 to 118% at high concentrations (100 ng/L) for the solid-phase extraction method. Method detection limits for the individual antidepressant compounds ranged from 0.19 to 0.45 ng/L. The method was applied to wastewater effluent and samples collected from a wastewater-dominated stream. Venlafaxine was the predominant antidepressant observed in wastewater and river water samples. Individual antidepressant concentrations found in the wastewater effluent ranged from 3 (duloxetine) to 2190 ng/L (venlafaxine), whereas individual concentrations in the waste-dominated stream ranged from 0.72 (norfluoxetine) to 1310 ng/L (venlafaxine).

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