Antidepressants may not show up in your standard drug test during the pre-employment or random drug screening process. To be specific, most antidepressant drugs are not considered drugs of abuse.
But there are cases where it might show false positives for major illicit drugs like amphetamines and benzos.
Some employers further extend their screening to identify drug abuse of prescription and OTC drugs. In that case, you might get positive results if you have abused antidepressant drugs like fentanyl, etc.
Learn more about the impact of antidepressants on drug tests, how long it can be detected, and how to prevent false positives if you are taking antidepressants on prescription.
Table Of Contents:
- Impact Of Antidepressants On Drug Tests
- How Long Can Antidepressants Show Up In Your System?
- Preventing False Positives While Consuming Antidepressants
Impact Of Antidepressants On Drug Tests
Antidepressants may not be a blocking factor in your drug test if your consumption does not exceed the prescription. It might produce false positive drug test results for major illicit drugs like amphetamines, cocaine, and MMJ. All you have to do is not panic and inform your tester or MRO about your prescription.
But why do antidepressants cause false positives in my 5-panel drug test?
Antidepressant prescriptions might create a metabolic byproduct in your liver, which, when moved to the bladder, may show up positive results for amphetamines.
Specifically, the bupropion ingredients in Wellbutrin and Trazodone might show up as false positives in your 5 panel urine drug test for amphetamines and methamphetamines.
Many anti-depressants, like Prozac (fluoxetine), and Zoloft, can cause false positive results for amphetamines and benzodiazepines because they follow similar metabolic principles.
However, some drugs are not detectable in your urine drug screening. For instance, a prescription drug - Venlafaxine (Effexor), will not show up in your 5-panel drug test. But there are chances that it might show up in your 10 panel or 12 panel drug test.
Moreover, certain factors that might negatively impact the drug test if you are consuming antidepressants are:
- Combining two to three anti-depressant drugs: Taking antidepressants along with other drugs simultaneously will have a threatening impact on your drug test and your health.
- Antidepressants Overdose: Taking antidepressants above the prescribed level might hit on your neurons and their functions, leading to threatening conditions.
- Individual metabolism: Some people might metabolize antidepressants better than others. And some may metabolize them slower than others. These factors can also negatively impact your test. However, taking the prescribed dose of an antidepressant drug is always advisable.
- The type of drug test: Hair drug test can detect drug abuse more precisely because of their sensitivity.
How Long Can Antidepressants Show Up In Your System?
It is dependent on the amount of drugs you consume and their effect. Typically, antidepressants can stay in your body for a longer time, say 4 to 7 days, while some drugs may remain for months. Below are the specific drug detection times for different types of antidepressant medications.
- Wellbutrin can stay in your system for 4 days to 3 months based on various factors. It can show up in your blood and saliva test for 4 days, urine for 7 to 10 days, and hair for 90 days.
- Zoloft can be detected in your system for 5 to 90 days, where the drug metabolites might stay in your blood for 5 days, saliva and urine for 4 to 10 days, and hair for 90 days.
- Prozac metabolites can be found in your blood for one to two weeks, whereas in hair, they remain for 90 days.
Certain drugs like venlafaxine do not show up in your drug test or become detectable in your preliminary drug test, but they might show up in your confirmatory drug test. So, it is best recommended to avoid using antidepressants above the prescribed level.
Preventing False Positives While Consuming Antidepressants
- Use a trusted drug testing kit: Using a trusted and reliable drug testing kit will save you time and provide accurate results. Make sure that you have collected ample samples before testing them for drugs.
- Inform the drug test company: It is not a crime to take antidepressants. So, the first thing you should do is inform the tester or MRO about your medications. This will help the tester to manage the results accordingly.
- Consume an adequate amount of water: Hydration helps keep you energetic and wipes away the drug metabolites much faster. Drinking water to eliminate drug metabolites is a frivolous attempt. You can reduce the level of the metabolites but cannot eliminate it.
- Know Your Antidepressant - If you are taking Zoloft for depression, you should know about the side effects of Zoloft and its symptoms. This will help you consult your doctor if you feel any of its symptoms.
- Request a second test: If you think you are falsely accused, there is nothing wrong with requesting a second test.
Taking Antidepressants is not drug abuse, unless you consume them more than what is prescribed or take them with other antidepressants or illegal drugs. If you want to advance your career options, it is better to avoid taking antidepressant drugs above the prescribed level to pass your drug test.
You can also try some natural ways to declutter depression from your mind. Try Yoga or any other aerobic exercises. This is one best ways to keep your body healthy and pass your drug test.