real world experiment

Adderall Analysis:
A Comparison
EJ Habina and Dan Palumbo
• Using FT-IR and NMR spectroscopy, evaluate
an amphetamine salt isomer from a generic,
prescription-brand adderall.
• Compare results and structure of the generic
brand to a name brand adderall and see if any
difference exists.
• Adderall is a combination
of amphetamine salts
used as medication to
treat ADHD and
• Once Adderall enters the
bloodstream, the
amphetamines stimulate
the brain's production of
norepinephrine and
Adderall Composition
More Information
• Detection and analysis
of amphetamine salts is
important in forensic
science due to their
widespread abuse
• In non-ADHD users,
Adderall produces a
surge of focus and
energy and an
accompanying loss of
Method 1: FT-IR
1. Crush tablet of dextroamphetamine sulfate
to a fine powder
2. Run an IR scan in Organic Lab
3. Determine structure based on peak reading
4. Follow procedure above for generic and
name brand and compare peaks
FT-IR Spectra – Generic
FT-IR Spectra – Generic and Dextro salt
FT-IR Spectra – All three samples
Method 2: NMR
1. Dissolve 20mg of dextroamphetamine sulfate
in 1mL D2O in an NMR tube
2. Run 13C-NMR 10k scans overnight
3. Collect spectra and determine peaks
4. Repeat for generic and name brand and
compare results
NMR Spectra – Dextro salt
NMR Spectra – Generic
NMR Spectra – Name Brand
• We were able to produce
successful spectra from
both FT-IR and NMR for
all three samples
• Comparatively, we found
the peaks were virtually
identical for the name
brand and generic brand
on both instruments
• We were also able to use
the pure Dextro salt to
identify specific peaks of
interest as well as to
prove our method was
• Our original goal was to isolate one of the
amphetamine salts and use it to spike a
sample of pure Adderall
• However, the isolation process requires
dangerous chemicals and lengthy procedures
• The one synthetic route we found is not
stereo-selective so we could not tell which
isomer we were isolating which set us up for
This is for Kiersten…

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