July 22, 2020
Journal Article

Assessment of the Utility of the Oral Fluid and Plasma Proteome for Hydrocodone Usage

Athena Schepmoes
Vikhyat Bebarta
Sandra Valtier
Joshua Adkins
Brooke Kaiser
Heather Brewer
Jon Jacobs


Non-medical use and abuse of prescription opioids is a growing problem in both the civilian and military communities, with minimal technologies for detecting hydrocodone use. This study explored the proteomic changes that occur in the oral fluid and blood plasma following controlled hydrocodone administration in twenty subjects. The global proteomic profile was determined for samples taken at four time points per subject of pre-exposure and 4, 6, or 168 hours post-exposure. The oral fluid samples analyzed herein provided greater differentiation between “baseline” and “response” time points than was observed with blood plasma, at least partially due to significant person-to-person variability in the plasma proteome. A total of 399 proteins were identified from oral fluid samples, and the abundance of 102 of those proteins was determined to be significantly different upon metabolism of hydrocodone (4 and 6 hour time points) as compared to baseline levels in the oral fluid (pre-dose and 168 hour). This is the first, to our knowledge, assessment of the oral fluid and blood plasma proteome following hydrocodone administration, which demonstrates the potential of oral fluid as a non-invasive sample that may reveal features of hydrocodone or other opioid use and/or misuse.

Revised: July 22, 2020 | Published: January 2, 2020


Kaiser B., J.M. Jacobs, A.A. Schepmoes, H.M. Brewer, B.M. Webb-Robertson, S. Valtier, and V.S. Bebarta, et al. 2020. "Assessment of the Utility of the Oral Fluid and Plasma Proteome for Hydrocodone Usage." Journal of Medical Toxicology 16, no. 1:49-60. PNNL-SA-121218. doi:10.1007/s13181-019-00731-0