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August 30, 1971

Quinine in Urinalysis For Heroin

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1971;217(9):1243-1244. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190090065017

To the Editor.—  In the course of evaluating our drug screening program, it has come to our attention that quinine from tonic water, used as a mixer with some cocktails, gives a sustained positive fluorescence in urine samples taken up to 48 hours after ingestion of an 8-oz bottle of the mixer. This communication reports our initial experience with positive fluorescence readings from sources of quinine, other than its being mixed with heroin. Quinine is added to heroin to increase its volume, yet maintain the bitter taste used as a "rule of thumb" for heroin identity by the user.Our drug screening program presently involves the extraction of quinine and morphine atpH 8.5 from ion-exchange paper into the mixed solvent chloroform-isopropyl alcohol. The concentrated quinine is then spotted on a chromatogram, developed with isopropyl alcohol-ammonium hydroxide, and sprayed with O.1N sulfuric acid. The highly blue fluorescent spot under