Does Ambien Show Up On A Drug Test - Everything We Know

Does Ambien Show Up On A Drug Test - Everything We Know


No. You will not be drug tested specifically for Ambien, but it may show up positive for benzos during the drug test.  

If you have ever taken Ambien, a prescription medication for insomnia, you might be wondering whether it will show up on a drug test. 

Drug tests are commonly conducted for various reasons, including pre-employment screening, compliance with substance abuse programs, and legal proceedings.

In this article, we will explore the topic of whether Ambien can be detected in different types of drug tests and provide you with valuable insights. So, let's dive in and find out the answer to the question, "Does Ambien show up on a drug test?"

Table of Contents

What Is Ambien Exactly?

Ambien, also known as Zolpidem, is a prescription medication that is listed as a schedule IV drug, meaning it has a low potential aspect of substance abuse. Ambien is used to treat insomnia by helping slow down the activity of the brain, thereby allowing you to sleep.

But you cannot deny that Zolpidem is a hypnotic drug, meaning taking the drug without a prescription might lead to drug abuse and, in the worst cases, leads to addiction. This is because individuals who take Ambien might be at risk of physical dependence, which makes them resistant to the drug after a certain amount of time.

Eventually, it leads to an increase in dosage to get the desired effect, which may lead to drug overdose and addiction. So, it is crucial to stay on the line of prescription if you are taking Ambien for insomnia.

Does Ambien Show Up in a 10-Panel Drug Test?

Maybe. Ambien may show up in a 10-panel drug test as it tests for prescription drugs and benzos. 

A 10-panel drug test typically screens for the presence of various substances, including THC, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, benzodiazepines, and more. However, it's important to note that Ambien (the generic name being zolpidem) is not typically included in the standard 10-panel drug test.

But it may show up as a false positive for benzodiazepines sometimes. So, it is crucial to get advice from your physician if your drug test is coming up. Ensure you indicate your intake to your MRO (Medical Review Officer) to avoid confusion in the drug test results.

Does Ambien Show Up on a Lab Drug Test?

Yes. When it comes to more comprehensive drug tests conducted in a laboratory setting, the detection of Ambien is possible. However, it is not a routine inclusion in most drug panels. 

To detect Ambien in a drug test, specific testing for sedatives or benzodiazepines is necessary. So, if Ambien is of concern in a specific situation, it's advisable to notify the testing laboratory or the relevant authority to ensure they specifically test for it.

Does Ambien Show Up on a Mouth Swab Drug Test?

Not certainly. Mouth swab drug tests, also known as saliva tests or oral fluid tests, are becoming increasingly popular due to their simplicity and non-invasiveness. It can detect recent drug use, typically within 24 to 48 hours. 

Fortunately, Ambien is not commonly screened for in-mouth swab drug tests. These tests generally detect THC, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and methamphetamines.

Does Ambien Show Up on a Military Drug Test?

Ambien is occasionally included in military drug tests, particularly if there are concerns about substance abuse or if certain medications are prohibited due to operational reasons. If you are a member of the military or considering joining, it's crucial to disclose any medication you are taking, including Ambien, to avoid potential complications.

What Does Ambien Show Up on a 12-Panel Drug Test?

A 12-panel drug test is more comprehensive than a 10-panel test, as it screens for a wider range of substances. 

While the specific substances tested can vary, a typical 12-panel drug test includes drugs such as THC, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and more. 

In some cases, Ambien may be included in a 12-panel drug test under the benzodiazepine category. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the substances included in the test to determine if Ambien is being screened for.


While Ambien is not typically included in standard drug tests, it can be detected in certain circumstances. It's essential to be transparent about any medications you are taking, including Ambien, to avoid any potential complications or misunderstandings. 

If you have concerns about Ambien showing up on a drug test, it's advisable to communicate with the testing authority, laboratory, or your employer beforehand. By providing the necessary information and documentation, you can ensure a smooth and accurate drug testing process.


Can Ambien be detected in a urine drug test?

No, Ambien is not routinely detected in standard urine drug tests. These tests primarily focus on detecting drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and benzodiazepines. However, specific tests targeting sedatives or benzodiazepines can detect the presence of Ambien.

How long does Ambien stay in your system?

The duration that Ambien stays in your system can vary depending on factors such as metabolism, dosage, and frequency of use. On average, Ambien can be detected in urine for up to 72 hours, in blood for about 20 hours, and in saliva for approximately 48 hours.

Can Ambien result in a false positive on a drug test?

While Ambien is not known to cause false positives for common drugs, it is important to inform the testing laboratory or authority if you are taking Ambien or any other prescription medication before undergoing a drug test. This helps ensure an accurate interpretation of the test results.

Can someone fail a drug test for Ambien if they have a valid prescription?

If you have a legitimate prescription for Ambien, it is unlikely that you will fail a drug test due to its presence. However, it is crucial to disclose your prescription and provide relevant documentation to the testing authority or employer before the test is conducted.

How can someone pass a drug test if Ambien is being tested for?

If Ambien is being tested for in a specific situation, and you need to pass the drug test, there are a few legitimate suggestions you can consider:

  • Inform the testing laboratory or authority about your Ambien prescription in advance.
  • Provide the necessary documentation, such as a doctor's prescription, to verify your legitimate use of the medication.
  • Follow any additional guidelines or procedures provided by the testing authority or employer.

Can over-the-counter sleep aids like Tylenol PM show up as Ambien on a drug test?

No, over-the-counter sleep aids such as Tylenol PM do not contain Ambien or its active ingredient, zolpidem. Therefore, they will not result in a positive drug test for Ambien.

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