Abstract Salinomycin is a polyether ionophore antibiotic that is widely used in poultry and livestock. Exposure of humans to salinomycin via inhalation or ingestion can cause severe toxicity. The aim of the present work was to develop a simple and sensitive liquid chromatography– tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for the rapid identification and quantification of salinomycin in human plasma. After removing protein using methanol, plasma samples were eluted from a Waters Xterra ® MS C18 column with an isocratic mobile phase. Detection and quantification of the drug were performed with a triplequadruple mass spectrometer by monitoring for two specific transitions in the electrospray, positive-ion, multiple-reaction monitoring mode. Assay validation showed good linearity (r2=0.998). The detection and quantification limits of the method were 0.6 and 16 pg/mL, respectively. The inter- and intraday coefficients of variation for the assay were both <15%. Twelve authentic plasma samples from intoxicated patients were analyzed using this method. Salinomycin was detected in six samples, at concentrations of between 0.6 and 46.5 pg/mL. The described assay method allows the sensitive and rapid identification and quantification of salinomycin in human plasma, and thus provides a valuable tool for the specific diagnosis of salinomycin intoxication in clinical and emergency rescue practice.