Spectrofluorimetric analysis of mixtures of the principal opium alkaloids
A spectrofluorimetric method is described for the detection and determination of morphine, codeine, narcotine and papaverine in mixtures. Morphine and codeine are determined in aqueous media by a differential method, and narcotine and papaverine in chloroform solution after extraction. A novel feature is the use of trichloroacetic acid for the simultaneous quenching of the fluorescence of papaverine and intensification of that of narcotine. The use of 2-aminopyridine as a working standard facilitates rapid and repeatable results. The method is particularly selective and the optimal range of determination extends into the submicrogram region for each alkaloid. It has been tested on synthetic mixtures resembling papaveretum and should be applicable to medicinal preparations containing the principal alkaloids of opium.