ELISA detection of phenazepam, etizolam, pyrazolam, flubromazepam, diclazepam and delorazepam in blood using Immunalysis® benzodiazepine kit

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O'Connor, Lauren C. ; Torrance, Hazel J. ; Mckeown, Denise A. (2016)

Phenazepam and etizolam were the first uncontrolled benzodiazepines available for sale in the UK. Pyrazolam, flubromazepam and diclazepam are not used medicinally anywhere in the world; they are produced exclusively for the uncontrolled, recreational market. It is important to know whether potentially abused drugs like these can be detected in routine toxicological screening tests. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the Immunalysis® Benzodiazepines ELISA kit could detect phenazepam, etizolam, pyrazolam, flubromazepam, diclazepam and its metabolite delorazepam. Their cross-reactivity was assessed by comparing the absorbance of the drug with that of oxazepam, the reference standard. This study found that these uncontrolled benzodiazepines cross-react sufficiently to produce a positive result with the Immunalysis® Benzodiazepine ELISA kit. Cross-reactivity ranged from 79 to 107% for phenazepam, etizolam, pyrazolam, flubromazepam, diclazepam and delorazepam fortified into blood. The results show that it is possible to detect these newer benzodiazepines with traditional forensic toxicology laboratory tools and it is important to include these benzodiazepines in the confirmation tests.
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