Detection of bumetanide in an over-the-counter dietary supplement

Archie M. Hoggan, Melinda K. Shelby, Dennis J. Crouch, Chad R. Borges, Matthew H. Slawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Bumetanide is a loop diuretic used clinically to treat heart failure, acute renal failure, high blood pressure, and edema. However, diuretics may also be used by athletes as masking agents and to decrease weight. Taken as masking agents, diuretics increase urine production and decrease urinary concentrations of banned performance-enhancing agents, such as anabolic steroids. StarCaps® is an over-the-counter dietary supplement marketed as a diet aid. The manufacturer claims that the product contains only natural cleansing agents and emphasizes that it is free from traditional appetite suppressants such as sympathomimetic amines. However, no such disclaimer is made concerning diuretic agents. A single StarCaps capsule was administered to two male and two female volunteers, and their urine specimens were collected at discrete intervals (2, 4, 8, and 12 h) post administration. The specimens were analyzed by a high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry quadrupole (HPLC-MS) method, and bumetanide was detected in all specimens (4.6 to 351.3 ng/mL). Adjusting the bumetanide concentrations for creatinine content did little to normalize the excretion profiles. Bumetanide was also detected in the StarCaps capsules at concentrations approaching therapeutic doses. HPLC-quadrupole-time- of-flight mass spectrometry was used to confirm the presence of bumetanide in the urine samples and StarCaps capsules. The results showed that unregulated dietary supplements may put consumers at risk for unwitting consumption of prescription medications, and that it is possible for athletes to inadvertently test positive for bumetanide and face disciplinary actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-604
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Analytical Toxicology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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