Current Developments in Drug Testing in Oral Fluid : Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

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Original Article

Current Developments in Drug Testing in Oral Fluid

Pil, Kristof Msc*; Verstraete, Alain MD, PhD*†

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Therapeutic Drug Monitoring 30(2):p 196-202, April 2008. | DOI: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e318167d563


In the last few years, significant developments have occurred on the key issues involved in oral fluid drug testing. New pharmacokinetic studies have been conducted, optimal cutoffs have been proposed, and new studies have examined the correlation between oral fluid drug concentrations and impairment. Recent studies (eg, the discovery of the presence of THC-COOH in oral fluid) can contribute to solve the issue of false-positive results caused by passive exposure to marijuana.

Reliable point-of-care drug testing is still problematic, especially for cannabinoids and benzodiazepines. To date, there is no device that allows both reliable and practical point-of-care testing.

The importance of liquid chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry in confirmation analysis has increased over the last several years. It can be expected that this trend will continue because the low sample volumes make simultaneous detection of different drug classes with limited sample preparation necessary. Literature on proficiency testing to ensure reliability and comparability of results is limited.

Oral fluid has become an important sample type in driving under the influence research, and the first legal random drug testing program in oral fluid since 2004 has been organized in Victoria. It can be expected that the role of oral fluid as an alternative matrix will keep increasing in the future.


Pil K, Verstraete A. Current Developments in Drug Testing in Oral Fluid. Ther Drug Monit. 2008;30:196-202.

The above article in the April issue was incorrectly classified as an Original Article. The correct classification is Proceedings Paper. We regret the error.

Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. 30(3):402, June 2008.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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