Interference by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in emit® and tdx® assays for drugs of abuse

Robert Joseph, Sandra Dickerson, Rosalind Willis, Diane Frankenfield, Edward J. Cone, Donna R. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Fourteen nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were evaluated for interference in EMIT and TDx assays for drugs of abuse. Only tolmetin demonstrated significant interferences in the EMIT assay. Urine samples that contained high concentrations of tolmetin (1800 mg/L) had characteristic high molar absorptivity at the wavelength used in EMIT assays (340 nm). Consequently, EMIT analysis of samples resulted in instrument error alarms on a Hitachi 704 instrument and depressed milliabsorbance values (ΔA) relative to calibrators. Similar results were obtained with urine samples collected from an arthritic patient after the administration of 200 and 400 mg of tolmetin. When tolmetin samples were mixed with drugs of abuse, depressed ΔA values were noted in all assays. Samples containing opiates and cannabinoids tested negative, and instrument erroralarms were produced with samples that contained amphetamines. A gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) assay for benzoylecgonine in the presence of tolmetin was successful, and no interferences were noted. Similar interferences by tolmetin were not observed in TDx assays, probably because of the different wavelength(525 nm) used in this assay. However, a potential for false-positive results in the TDx benzodiazepine assay was noted for urine samples containing high concentrations of fenoprofen, flurbiprofen, indomethacin, ketoprofen, and tolmetin. Generally, it was concluded that the presence of tolmetin in urine samples could lead to the production of unacceptable results by the EMIT assay for drugs of abuse. However, TDx and GC-MS assays wereuseful alternatives for the analysis of urine samples suspected of containing tolmetin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of analytical toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety


Dive into the research topics of 'Interference by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in emit® and tdx® assays for drugs of abuse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this