How retention time helps in drug identification? – Hydrocodone drug testing

Every drug testing procedures are supported by GC and MS instruments. Results are based on their retention time. So what is retention time and how it is related with drug testing results? This article discuss about the retention time in gas chromatography analyzes.

Retention time is the amount of time that a drug compound is retained in gas chromatographic column. This retention time is measured from the site of sample injection till the sample gets eluted in the column. Retention time will not be the same for all drug compounds as the molecular composition varies retention time also varies from each compound. Yet retention time does not help completely to predict the drug in the sample.

If the sample contains two types of drugs and if it does not possess the same retention time than they are considered as the different drugs by analyzes. Similarly two substances possessing the same retention time are regarded as the same compound. More or less mot of he compounds will have same retention time. Opiate group drugs will possess similar retention time and peak levels indicating the same substances.

Before getting started with drug testing, instrument must be calibrated based on the specific concentrations. Calibration can be checked by using the sample containing known substance. This enables worker to ensure that instrument is calibrated in right manner. If this trail test does not show positive result then the instrument must be recalibrated. Data accuracy can be checked with blank samples that contain no samples in it. This blank test reports positive for drugs it indicates that instrument must have residues of the previous testing.

GC instrument is employed in various drug testing procedures such as amphetamine drug screening, benzodiazepine screening, codeine drug tests, hydrocodone drug testing, and nicotine in urine test.

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