How does toxicology testing help physicians, their practices, and their patients?
Drug screens and conﬁrmatory testing provides physicians with objective information about drug use or misuse. Testing allows you to monitor patient compliance with prescribed treatment plans and/or possible unreported drug use, which may interfere with the treatment plan. Healthcare professionals use toxicology testing results in conjunction with other clinical information to enhance care for their patients.
Beneﬁts of Testing:
- Physicians are in compliance with monitoring guidelines per their respective specialty.
- Physicians are able to see if there are any drug-to-drug interactions which may require altering treatment plans.
- Patients may not always remember what medication they are taking or may not share all the information voluntarily with the physician.
- Patients may not be taking the medication prescribed. Drug conﬁrmation can help detect the presence or absence of these drugs and its metabolites in the body.
- For pre-surgery testing, physicians may conduct testing to ensure there will be no unknown drug interactions with the use of anesthesia at any time in the surgery.
- This proactive testing method can provide valuable information to the physician in order to treat the patient in the safest way possible.
- Provides a baseline for new patients.
- Allows physicians to monitor if the patient is abusing or diverting.
- Helps when a patient requests a controlled substance reﬁll.
What signs could affect physicians’ frequency of testing?
Although there are no pathognomonic signs of addiction/misuse or diversion/trafﬁcking, there are certain presentations that may be indications for closer monitoring of a controlled drug. For instance, patients who resist receiving a full controlled evaluation to conﬁrm their presenting condition, or who are reluctant to undergo diagnostic tests, including UDT, are not candidates for therapy with a controlled substance.
This can also apply to patients who request a speciﬁc type of drug. If a patient refuses to try other rational pharmacologic substances aside from the previous drug they have been prescribed, this could be taken as a sign of misuse.
Patients who display problematic behavior such as demanding appointments, calling after ofﬁce-hours, or are non-adherent to therapy despite repeated warnings, could be displaying signs of drug misuse. Developing a consistent testing method will help physicians monitor their patient prescriptions and prevent cases of drug misuse.
Our Toxicology Panel
Codeine, Morphine, Hydrocodone, Norhydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, Noroxycodone, Oxymorphone, Buprenorphine, Norbuprenorphine, Fentanyl, Norfentanyl, Meperidine, Normeperidine, Methadone, EDDP, Tapentadol, N-Desmethyl Tapentadol Tramadol, O-Desmethyltramadol
Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Methylphenidate, Ritalinic Acid, Phentermine
7-Aminoclonazepam, Alprazolam, a-OH-Alprazolam, Chlordiazepoxide, Diazepam, Nordiazepam, Oxazepam, Temazepam, Clonazepam*, Lorazepam
Muscle Relaxers/Sleeping Aids:
Carisoprodol, Gabapentin, Ketamine, Norketamine, Meprobamate, Pregabalin, Zolpidem, Zolpidem-COOH, Cycobenzaprine.
Data from: PharmaCom Group and opioidrisk.com