The Significance of Putative Urinary Markers of Illicit Heroin Use After Consumption of Poppy Seed Products

  title={The Significance of Putative Urinary Markers of Illicit Heroin Use After Consumption of Poppy Seed Products},
  author={Jens Trafkowski and Burkhard Madea and Frank Musshoff},
  journal={Therapeutic Drug Monitoring},
After consumption of poppy seeds various substances were detected in urine or blood samples using an immunoassay and a sophisticated liquid chromatographic-tandem mass spectrometric procedure. These compounds are widely considered to be putative markers of heroin (HER) abuse whereas acetylcodeine was regarded as a marker for illicit preparations (“street HER”). Besides positive urinary opiate immunoassay results during a 48 hours monitoring period, peak concentrations of morphine (MOR), codeine… 

Urinary excretion study following consumption of various poppy seed products and investigation of the new potential street heroin marker ATM4G.

The new potential street heroin marker acetylated-thebaine-4-metabolite glucuronide (ATM4G), originating from thebaine during street heroin synthesis followed by metabolic reactions after administration, should be measured additionally in cases requiring discrimination of street heroin consumption from poppy seed intake.

Determination of morphine and codeine in serum after poppy seed consumption using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

A sensitive method was developed for the determination of free morphine and codeine in blood, suitable for detection of the ingestion of illicit drugs and applicable for monitoring therapeutic doses as well as stand up in the court of law.

Comparison of urine results concerning co-consumption of illicit heroin and other drugs in heroin and methadone maintenance programs

A co-consumption of illicit heroin (HER) in the HMP was determined to be 50% but was significantly lower compared to the MMP with a co-use of 71%, which was similar to previous reports concerning HER-assisted treatment programs.

Concentrations of Morphine and Codeine in Paired Oral Fluid and Urine Specimens Following Ingestion of a Poppy Seed Roll and Raw Poppy Seeds

Combined with the existing poppy seed literature, these results support previous findings and provide guidance for interpretation of OF opiate testing.


An analytical method is presented here for the assessment of morphine and codeine concentrations in human serum by employing mass spectrometry in the selective ion monitoring mode following its

Morphine and codeine in oral fluid after controlled poppy seed administration.

Opiates are an important drug class in drug testing programmes. Ingestion of poppy seeds containing morphine and codeine can yield positive opiate tests and mislead result interpretation in forensic

Poppy Seed Foods and Opiate Drug Testing-Where Are We Today?

The large reduction of the morphine content during past years raises questions about the validity of the “poppy seed defence,” and research is needed to prove if the morphine contents in today's foods still pose the possibility of influencing drug tests.

Confirmation of recent heroin abuse: Accepting the challenge.

This paper aims to provide an overview of the wide variety of heroin abuse biomarkers described in the literature and to review them regarding their utility and reliability in daily routine analysis.

The poppy seed defense: a novel solution.

A high frequency for the presence of the metabolite marker in urine, in the absence of 6-MAM, suggests that detection of this metabolite may offer an important advance in forensic toxicology, allowing the development of a new and more definitive test for heroin abuse and thus a potential solution to the so-called 'poppy seed defense'.



Detection of opiates in urine, blood and hair after consumption of bakery products containing poppy seeds

The study shows that in this day and age in Germany too, all positive opiate-findings must undergo critical judgement, as at present consumption of heroin can be proven most suitably by the presence of 6-monoacetylmorphine in hair.

Does the consumption of poppy seeds lead to positive opiate-test results in urine, blood and hair?

It can be shown that a regular, moderate consumption of poppy seeds does not result in a measurable deposition of morphine or codeine in the hair, and the lack of a demonstrable 6-Monoacetylmorphine (MAM) presence (as evidence for heroin use) cannot lead to the conclusion that poppy seeds were ingested.

The analysis of thebaine in urine for the detection of poppy seed consumption.

Thebaine was detectable in the urine of poppy seed eaters in concentrations ranging from 2 to 81 ng/mL and is proposed as a direct marker for poppy seed use.

Poppy seed ingestion as a contributing factor to opiate-positive urinalysis results: the Pacific perspective.

Findings argue against the unqualified application of previously published quantitative guidelines for eliminating poppy seed ingestion as a possible cause for a positive opiate urinalysis result.

Gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric analysis of morphine and codeine in human urine of poppy seed eaters.

Results indicated that significant amounts of morphine and codeine are excreted in urine and that in all subjects, at least at one point in time, the apparent morphine concentration as determined by radioimmunoassay (RIA) analysis exceeded the cutoff value established for screening.

Concentrations of morphine and codeine in serum and urine after ingestion of poppy seeds.

A positive finding of morphine or codeine in blood and urine may sometimes be due to ingestion of poppy seeds, as measured in commercially available poppy seeds and in serum and urine samples from healthy adults who had ingested these poppy seeds.

Acetylcodeine as a urinary marker to differentiate the use of street heroin and pharmaceutical heroin.

Acetylcodeine (ACOD) is a synthesis byproduct present in street heroin but not in pharmaceutical diacetylmorphine (DAM) as used in the Swiss program Heroin-Assisted Treatment for Opiate Dependent