An uncomplicated, sensitive liquid chromatography linked to mass spectrometry (LC/MS) for evaluation of carbamazepine and carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide (its metabolite) in human plasma, human saliva, rat plasma, and rabbit plasma was developed. Analyses were conducted on a Zorbax SB-C18, 100 mm × 3 mm ID, 3.5 μm column, at a column temperature of 40 ºC. The mobile phase was comprised of 0.1% formic acid in water and methanol in a 35 : 65 (v/v) ratio, with a flow rate of 0.4 mL/min. Lacosamide was utilized as internal standard. Under these chromatographic conditions, the retention times of lacosamide, carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide, and carbamazepine were 1.4 min, 1.6 min, and 2.2 min, respectively. The quantification of the analytes was performed using multiple reaction monitoring, with the use of a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with electrospray positive ionization. The monitored ions were m/z 194 derived from m/z 237 for carbamazepine, m/z 180 derived from m/z 253 for carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide, and m/z 108 derived from m/z 251 for lacosamide. The samples were prepared by protein precipitation from 0.2 mL of plasma/saliva using 0.6 mL of internal standard solution in methanol. Calibration curves were constructed over the ranges 1.1–17.6 µg/mL and 0.23–5.47 µg/mL for carbamazepine and carbamazepine-epoxide, respectively. The coefficients of determination obtained by using a weighted (1/x) linear regression were greater than 0.994. The reported LC-MS/MS method was applied to preclinical pharmacokinetic studies and therapeutic drug monitoring.
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