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To the Editor:—
The appearance of a new sedative on the market always presents a medicolegal problem in that individuals accidently or purposely take or administer an overdose with resultant deaths. Such is the situation with a new sedative, Doriden (a-ethyl, a-phenyl glutarimide). Several reports have already been received implicating Doriden in suicides and possibly murder. Our laboratories have succeeded in developing a colorimetric test for Doriden and some of its metabolites that is based on the reaction of hydroxylamine with the imide group to form an hydroxamic acid. The addition of ferric ion causes the formation of a purple complex. In applying this method to the analysis of Doriden and its metabolites in urine, column chromatography was required to eliminate esters, amides, and anhydrides, which also react with hydroxylamine. From the preliminary results obtained to date, the determination of a metabolite, a-phenyl glutarimide, is of more value than that
Sheppard H. TEST FOR DORIDEN. JAMA. 1955;159(10):1052. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960270072022