Spectrum of gestational exposure to illicit drugs and other xenobiotic agents in newborn infants by meconium analysis

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Abstract

Objective

To detect the spectrum of gestational exposure to illicit drugs and other xenobiotic agents in neonates by meconium analysis.

Method

Meconium was collected from 98 neonates and analyzed for illicit drugs and other xenobiotic agents by high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

Results

Eighty-one (82.7%) infants tested positive for xenobiotic agents, and each infant had from 1 to 9 drugs present. These included local anesthetics (30%) such as lidocaine and mepivacaine; food additives (25%) such as ionol (butylated hydroxytoluene); illicit drugs (11%), especially cocaine and morphine; analgesics (10%) such as meperidine; and fewer (<10%) other drugs such as antihistamines, antidepressants, adrenergics, anticonvulsants, cough medications, analeptics, hypnosedatives, and cardiotonics.

Conclusion

We demonstrated substantial exposure of neonates to xenobiotic agents, ranging from exposure to food additives, prescribed or over-the-counter medications, and drugs of abuse. (J Pediatr 1998;133:513-5)

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