Lab 3: Over the Counter (OTC) Medication Testing in Forensic Context

The illicit drugs and metabolites are predominantly present in toxicological reports. However, the over-the-counter, and common medications, such as aspirin, may also be included during sample analysis. Commonly, a regular medication may be consumed along side illicit drugs, and produce a combined effect. Hence, testing for common medication is also important aspect in forensic toxicology. In this lab, the presumptive testing was carried out for aspirin metabolite, salicylate, by using a colourimetric spectroscopic method.


This video (6:30) documents in detail the full process of testing for aspirin and sodium salicylate using Ultra-violet visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis). The overview and context for using aspirin and its metabolite sodium salicylate are provided, followed by the instrument calibration and sample preparation. Data were collected for various concentrations of sodium salicylate in the absence of iron(III)trichloride, and the presumptive solution test was performed with iron(III)trichloride.



Data Sets and Worksheet

Clicking the data set links below will automatically download the Excel spreadsheets to your computer.

Data sets (experimental data) provided include:

  1. various compounds (standard solutions or references): caffeine, ibuprofen, acetominophen, chlorpromazine, advil, aspirin and sodium salicylate in water.
  2. various concentrations of sodium salicylate with iron(III)trichloride: 0, 10, 50, and 200 mg/mL sodium salicylate in water.

Clicking the worksheet link below will open the worksheet for this lab in a new window. You will then have the option to download the pdf file if you choose to.


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