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IP International Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicological Sciences

Qualitative Determination of Citalopram and Escitalopram in whole human blood using liquid- liquid extraction and GC/GC-MS

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Original Article

Author Details : Sneha Yadav*

Volume : 3, Issue : 4, Year : 2018

Article Page : 85-99


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Citalopram is a antidepressant drug, generally prescribed for the treatment of major depression. It comes under the SSRI’s class (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). It is frequently used off-label to treat anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
As per forensic point of view citalopram which is non tricyclic antidepressant is generally prescribed for treating depression because of its undesirable side effects than classical tricyclic antidepressants so they are nowadays more commonly used as the drugs of first choice and therefore the chance of detecting it in the biological materials analyzed in toxicology division is high.
Present study has been structured with an aim to test citalopram, present in blood and the comparison of citalopram and escitalopram which are the enantiomers. For extraction of citalopram from blood, sodium tungstate method was used followed by liquid- liquid extraction.

The alkaline extract of blood obtained from Sodium Tungstate was used for identification by color tests. Citalopram is basic in nature, but it does not respond to commonly used color test for benzodiazepines/alkaloids. Hence various color tests were performed which were reported in literature out of which marquis & mandelin gives positive result. cobalt thiocyanate has also given positive test for presence of citalopram which can be used in future for testing citalopram.
Further the identification of the drug was carried out by thin layer chromatography by various solvent systems. In search for different solvent systems various combinations of solvents were tried and reproducible results were produced. For the separation of citalopram & Escitalopram solvent system Toluene: Acetonitrile: methanol has given the good Rf values and reproducible.
Results: Other instrumentation technique, like UV visible spectroscopy, Gas liquid chromatography (GLC), GC-MS was also used for the qualitative analysis.

Keywords: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Extraction, Tricyclic antidepressants.

How to cite : Yadav S, Qualitative Determination of Citalopram and Escitalopram in whole human blood using liquid- liquid extraction and GC/GC-MS. IP Int J Forensic Med Toxicol Sci 2018;3(4):85-99

Copyright © 2018 by author(s) and IP Int J Forensic Med Toxicol Sci. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (