Does Suboxone Show Up In Drug Tests
A typical 12-Panel Urinalysis Drug Screen tests for active components in 10 different substances, including amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, methadone, methaqualone, opioids, phencyclidine, and propoxyphene.
Suboxone is a powerful drug that helps people with opioid addiction manage their cravings and withdrawal symptoms. But it’s not exactly the easiest thing to hide from an employer or teacher who wants proof you’re really using your prescription as medicine.
That’s why many doctors recommend carrying around a pill bottle filled with Suboxone film instead of pills. The film can be popped into a reader device which will release small doses of medication into your bloodstream. It won’t show up on a urine test like regular prescription meds would, but it will give you more control over how much you take at any given time. If you don’t have one handy, ask your doctor if they’ll prescribe it for you.
But what about those random drug tests that employers insist upon? Is there a way to fool them into thinking you’ve been popping Suboxone all day long when you haven’t?
Unfortunately, no. There are dozens of drugs that could appear positive on a urinalysis (and some of them are legal!) — so even though Suboxone isn’t specifically screened for by most companies, there may still be ways your body produces trace amounts that could get picked up. Here are some common medications that could show up during a urinalysis screening. And the best way to avoid this problem is to make sure you never use these drugs in the first place!
Codeine – This pain reliever has morphine as its base, making it highly addictive. Codeine was originally made from opium, and today it’s produced synthetically. Although codeine itself is an opiate, it doesn’t contain enough of the active ingredient to register as such on a drug screen. However, since the codeine metabolizes into morphine, traces of morphine can be found in users’ systems.
Tramadol – Like codeine, tramadol has only weak narcotic properties. It works primarily as an anti-inflammatory agent, and is often prescribed for anxiety and depression. Like codeine, tramadol breaks down into metabolites that can show up on a urinalysis.
Alprazolam – Also known as Xanax, this mood stabilizer and antianxiety agent contains the chemical lorazepam, which is similar to diazepam (sold under the trade name Valium). Lorazepam is used to treat panic disorders, seizures, alcohol abuse, schizophrenia, and diabetes. Alprazolam can cause side effects like hallucinations and dizziness, so talk to your doctor before taking it if you experience either of these symptoms.
Zyprexa – Also called olanzapine, this antipsychotic drug was approved by the FDA in October 2002. Before being marketed, Zyprexa underwent extensive animal testing and trials on humans. Patients taking Zyprexa reported weight gain, nervousness, and dry mouth. Other possible side effects include constipation, nausea, decreased sex drive, increased sweating, and headaches.
Clonazepam – Clonazepam is another type of benzodiazepine, meaning it acts as a central nervous system depressant. It’s sold under the brand names Klonopin and Rivotril; both brands come in extended-release tablets. As mentioned above, benzodiazepines are commonly used to help patients suffering from anxiety or panic attacks. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, “long term use of benzodiazepines should generally be avoided because they do not work well and may actually increase anxiety.”
Ketamine – Known as Special K because of the bright yellow packaging, ketamine is an anesthetic that’s also used in veterinary medicine. Ketamine is a non-narcotic sedative that helps suppress pain and reduce inflammation. Common uses include treating postoperative pain and depression. Side effects include feeling high, lightheadedness, muscle stiffness, and vomiting.
Methaqualone – Methaqualone, better known as Quaalude, was once widely used as an appetite suppressant. Today, however, it’s mostly used recreationally. Although the recreational version is less potent than the original, it does affect the brain chemistry to produce euphoria and calmness. Recreational users report feeling relaxed, sleepy, and sometimes paranoid. Long-term use of methaqualone can lead to liver damage and other severe health problems.
Phenmethergummine – Phenmethergummine, aka fenphen, is a stimulant that was developed as an alternative to methylphenidate, better known as Ritalin. Fenphen is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity. Possible side effects include insomnia, restlessness, stomach aches, headache, and heart palpitations. According to WebMD, “fenphen causes rapid changes in blood pressure and pulse rate. These changes may require medical treatment.”
Propoxyphene – Propoxyphene is a combination analgesic/tranquilizer that’s similar to Darvon Compound, another popular sleeping aid. Both compounds were designed to provide calming effects without causing drowsiness. Possible side effects include burning sensations, rash, fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms.
These six classes of psychoactive drugs can all show up on a urinalysis, although none of them are specific to Suboxone. So, while a urine sample might turn up evidence of Suboxone use, there’s no guarantee that it’s necessarily true. If you want to stay safe, just remember the old adage: “If something seems too good to be true…it probably is!”
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