U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

A determination of the aerosolization efficiency of drugs of abuse in a eutectic mixture with nicotine in electronic cigarettes

NCJ Number
Drug Testing and Analysis Dated: July 2022
Date Published
July 2022

Presented is the change in e-cigarette aerosolization of nicotine and methadone alone versus a 1:1 nicotine:methadone mixture to evaluate the possible formation of a eutectic mixture that can result in an increase of drug delivery.


E-liquids were prepared in-house using 1:1 propylene glycol (PG):vegetable glycerin (VG) as a base plus nicotine, methadone hydrochloride, or 1:1 nicotine:methadone hydrochloride. The e-liquids were aerosolized via an automated vaping machine using parameters adopted from the Cooperation Centre for Scientific Research Relative to Tobacco (CORESTA) E-cigarette Task Force method. Drug recovery was determined by capturing the aerosol from 15 puffs generated by the e-cigarette. Concentrations of nicotine and methadone aerosolized were determined by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry using nicotine (n = 3), methadone (n = 3), and combined nicotine/methadone e-liquids (n = 3), each prepared in-house at 12 mg/ml. The concentration of nicotine and methadone in 15 puffs of the single drug e-liquids were determined to be 1.60 ± 0.20 and 2.67 ± 0.12 mg, respectively. The concentration of nicotine and methadone in 15 puffs of the multidrug e-liquid were determined to be 3.66 ± 0.49 and 3.65 ± 0.10 mg, respectively. The single nicotine and methadone e-liquids had recoveries of 70 ± 0.1% and 84 ± 0.1%, respectively. In the 1:1 mixture, the recovery of both drugs increased. The development of a eutectic mixture can promote aerosolization of the drug and deliver a greater dose to the user. (Publisher abstract provided)



Date Published: July 1, 2022