Q: What is methamphetamine "d" and "l" isomer testing?
A: Methamphetamine is available in two forms: "d" and "l." These compounds are stereoisomers (chemical mirror images). They have the same chemical formula and similar chemical properties. The "d" form is a prescription stimulant and appetite suppressant. The "l" form is available over-the-counter as the active ingredient of the Vick's inhaler and is a metabolite of certain prescription medications. Both "d" and "l" test positive by both immunoassay and most GC/MS assays.
Q: What do the percentages mean in methamphetamine "d" and "l" isomer test results?
A: In order to help determine whether a methamphetamine positive may be due to an illicit source, it is helpful to determine the percentage of "d" isomer. For example, following an individual's use of Vick's Vapor Inhaler, the expected result would be 100% "l" methamphetamine. However, there is a possibility that trace amounts of "d" isomer may be present in the quantitative analysis. Laboratory guidelines have been established to allow for trace presence of the "d" isomer. If the laboratory report indicates more than 80% "l" methamphetamine, the results are consistent with Vick's Vapor Inhaler use. If the laboratory reports more than 20% "d" methamphetamine present, the result indicates the use of "d" methamphetamine other than the inhaler. Illegally produced methamphetamine and amphetamine may contain mixtures of "d" and "l" isomers. Detect Lab always use a medical review officer (MRO) to review all non-negative test results.
Q: What is the drug MDMA/Ecstasy?
A: Ecstasy is a commonly used street-name for MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). MDMA is an illegal drug with characteristics of both stimulants and hallucinogens. In the mid 1980s, MDMA was being used at all night dance parties, now referred to as "raves". In 1985, the US Drug Enforcement Administration moved the drug to Schedule 1 status with no accepted medical use.
Q: Why isn't MDMA detected in my standard amphetamine screen?
A: MDMA is a synthetic amphetamine structure and does cross-react with existing amphetamine assays. However, the cut-offs established for amphetamine by the government do not pick up concentrations of MDMA in urine that are typically there following exposure. To enable detection of MDMA following normal exposures, Detect Lab uses reagents developed specifically for MDMA detection.