Beckman Coulter, Inc. has announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market a new
test for the detection of ecstasy and other amphetamines.
Beckman Coulter's amphetamine test - performed on urine samples
using the company's Synchron Cx® Or Lx® clinical chemistry systems
- is one of the most sensitive tests for ecstasy available and can
detect 2.5 micrograms of the drug per milliliter of urine. In addition
to ecstasy, the test can detect an array of methamphetamines and
amphetamines that are commonly abused and can cause addiction.
More formally known as 3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA),
ecstasy is also called E, X, XTC and Adam. It is used most frequently
at dance clubs and all-night dance parties called "raves."
Clinical studies have indicated that use of the drug carries
dangerous side effects, including hallucination, confusion, agitation,
seizure, hypotension, coma, brain damage and even death. Despite the
dangers, recreational use of ecstasy has risen dramatically in recent
years, prompting the DEA to classify the drug under "Schedule 1,"
which makes it subject to criminal penalties similar to those for
other drugs of abuse, such as cocaine and heroin.
"With use of ecstasy on the rise - especially among teenagers -
and the widespread use of other drugs of abuse, it's critical that
physicians and laboratorians have access to a highly sensitive test
like our new amphetamine assay," said Ron Berman, Beckman Coulter
market manager, clinical chemistry and automation.
"The test is designed to detect amphetamines quickly and
accurately in a wide range of clinical lab situations, such as
emergency room toxicology. The test can also be used in forensic
testing as well as to screen for drug use in employees, athletes,
prison populations and drug rehab participants."
In addition to its new amphetamine assay, Beckman Coulter offers
a number of tests for the detection and monitoring of other drugs of
abuse, including cocaine, marijuana, opiate, PCP, barbiturates,
benzodiazepines, methadone, methaqualone and proxyphene. The entire
panel of tests is available on the company's Synchron Cx Or Lx