6-Acetylmorphine (6-AM) Urine HEIA

The new 6-Actylmorphine (6-AM) Urine HEIA offers a highly specific and extremely sensitive method for the determination of recent heroin abuse. The reduction of false positive screenings helps to minimize costs for confirmation testing and provides more confidence in current screening techniques.

Based on the new recombinant antigen-binding fragment (rFAB) technology, this homogeneous enzyme immunoassay is an excellent tool to distinguish between samples that are positive due to heroin consumption and samples that are positive due to morphine intake, prescription medication or poppy seed ingestion.

Assay Characteristics

  • rFAB technology for enhanced performance, superior specificity and targeted selectivity
  • Virtually no cross-reactivity to morphine and its metabolites (XR < 0,005%)
  • No significant cross-reactivity to other relevant opiates (i.e. codeine, dihydrocodeine & morphine glucuronides)
  • Liquid, ready-to-use reagents, calibrators, and controls – no reconstitution
  • Application protocols for all major clinical chemistry analysers
  • Packaging tailored to your laboratory’s unique needs
  • Use of synthetic material to enhance stability of calibrators and controls, and to decrease risk of contamination


6-Acetylmorphine (6-AM) is an active metabolite of heroin (diacetylmorphine). While Heroin itself has an extremely short half-life, it is rapidly metabolized after consumption to 6-AM by esterase enzymes in the brain. Subsequently, 6-AM is further metabolized to morphine or directly excreted in the urine. Since 6-AM is a unique metabolite to heroin, its presence in a urine sample suggests that heroin was used as recently as within the last day. Trace amounts of 6-AM are excreted for several hours following heroin use, so a urine specimen should be collected soon after.

In most European countries, heroin withdrawal therapy programs either use methadone or buprenorphine as the substitution medication of choice. In some countries (e.g. Austria), however, morphine (morphine sulphate and/or morphine hydrochloride) is rather more prevalent. To clearly detect consumption or abuse of heroin during withdrawal therapy, the accurate detection of 6-acetylmorphine in the screening methods employed is absolutely crucial.