© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Triamcinolone acetonide (TA) is a glucocorticoid (GC) widely used in sports medicine. GCs are prohibited in sports competitions by oral, intramuscular (IM), intravenous and rectal administrations, and they are allowed by other routes considered of local action such as intranasal administration (INT). We examined the urinary profiles of TA and its metabolites after INT and high-dose IM administrations. We also measured concentrations of TA and cortisol (CORT) in plasma following IM administration. TA was administered to healthy volunteers using INT route (220 μg/day for 3 days, n = 4 males and 4 females) or IM route (single dose of 40 mg, n = 4 males and 4 females and single dose 80 mg, n = 4 males). Urine and plasma samples were collected before and after administration at different time periods, and were analysed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. TA concentrations in urine were constant during 23 days after IM injection (range 1.4–129.0 ng/mL), and were very low after INT administration (range 0.0–3.5 ng/mL). For 6β-hydroxy-triamcinolone, the main TA metabolite, higher concentrations were detected (0.0–93.7 ng/mL and 15.7–973.9 ng/mL after INT and IM administrations, respectively). On the other hand, TA was detected in all plasma samples collected during 23 days after IM administration (range 0.2–5.7 ng/mL). CORT levels were largely suppressed after IM injection, and were recovered in a dose-dependent manner. In view of the results obtained, we propose a reporting level of 5 ng/mL for TA to distinguish forbidden from allowed TA administrations in sports. We also suggest that other GCs with faster urinary elimination from the body should be considered for IM therapies in out-of-competition rather than TA, in order to reduce the possibility of reporting false adverse analytical findings.
- Administration routes
- Triamcinolone acetonide