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Can methadone for pain be detected in urine under the opioid panel?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
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Yes I recently came up positive for opiates on a drug test. I bought this app today hoping to get answers and I got a couple sentences as a response to a very complicated thing so I hope I am really talking to a doctor. Okay, I take methadone for pain. The place that prescribes the methadone issue the drug tests because it is XXXXXXX to be on methadone and mix certain medications and such. The methadone shows up separate as opiates and why I say this is because the response I got earlier was that the methadone gave me a positive drug test. I even explained in detail that the place I get the methadone from issues the tests and they are sent to a lab and they test separately for the 2. I take other medication as well but would not make me come up positive for drugs. I am very worried that I have an opiate in my system when I have not knowingly even took opiates. And that's why I said they test at a lab and test for the two separately because I know methadone comes up on a drug screen so methadone wasn't the reason an opiate showed up it showed up because there was something other than methadone in my system and again I am scared because I don't take things like Percocet, oxy, or heroin ever but some how it's in my body. I haven't felt "high" so it must of been a very small amount and they retested my urine twice to make sure so it wasn't a mistake and both times I tested + for methadone, which they test for I guess to make sure you are taking it and the rite amount, and opiates which I have no explanation for. Thanks
Posted Thu, 13 Mar 2014 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Opiates and methadone Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to health care magic. I have gone through your query and I understand your concern regarding positive tests for opiates on drug screening. I would like to elaborate more on drug screening to make you understand better. Urine screening for drugs is usually done for drugs of dependence or abuse like amphetamines, steroids, club drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, some prescription drugs like painkillers, sedatives and tranquilizers. Before any drug screening, thorough history of patient is necessary to rule out if he or she is on any other medications that might interfere with the drug screening. Coming to your case, methadone is chemically an opioid derivative and acts on particular receptors called as mu opioid receptors for its action. It is prescribed as a painkiller but has a risk of drug dependence. It can be detected in urine under the opioid panel for at least 3 days after taking it. The name “opiate” is often used to describe any member of the class of drugs that acts on opioid receptors, the term “opiate” properly refers to the natural alkaloids found in opium XXXXXXX resin (Papaver somniferum), which include morphine, codeine and thebaine. The term “opioid” refers to the synthetic and semi -synthetic opioid receptor drugs, including heroin, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, buprenorphine, fentanyl, and methadone. If you are on methadone prescription, then the drug screen usually done is the pain management drug screen which is usually done in two steps. The first step is screening for opiates which will be positive if you are taking methadone. Second step a reconfirmation is done only for morphine, codeine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone. Then the result is reported as positive for opiates. However, there are chances of false positives (especially with drugs that are structurally similar to opiates). In such cases, clinical history of patient, with medication history and confirmatory test methods like gas chromatography are useful. I hope I have cleared your doubts regarding this matter. Please get back if I can assist you further. Thanks.
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