Tramadol Prescription & Nursing School Entrance Drug Testing

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Hello, I was recently accepted into a clinical nursing program and need to have a drug screen. I have been taking Tramadol, Soma, and Tizanidine for an L4-L5 spinal injury that occurred while helping to lift a patient when I was working in the OR 4 years ago. I have been on these medications for 2 years now and I take them 3 times a day. I am really concerned about how my medications may be received by my school, nursing facilities that I will be completing my clinicals and by future employers. Obviously I have a strong tolerance to these medicines after having taken them for so long. I am concerned if they will appear in a urine drug screen and if so if I should disclose my medications or not. Obviously I prefer to disclose them and hope they are accepted but I don't want to risk them not being accepted. Can anyone please let me know how these medications are treated among the nursing community, and any advice any of you have about how I should go about dealing with this is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

bridgetteRN

11 Posts

I'm pretty sure as long as you have a prescription, you're good. Other people here may have different answers but pretty sure that's the case! Good luck!

lilemma

4 Posts

Hello, I was in the same situation. You do not need to disclose that information to your school, as long as you have a valid prescription. The only people who need to know is the company giving you the drug screen, because then they won't tell your school you tested positive for drugs. I am pretty sure they are not allowed share information about your medical history with your school, only if the drug test was positive or negative. Prior to the drug screen I would let the company giving you the drug test know what medicine you take and have note from doctor, copy of prescription ect...every place is different so find out what they require.

ADNcandidate

6 Posts

This is really helpful! Thank you! I'll reach out to them and see if they'll give me any information prior to taking the test and hope they'll be straightforward with me rather than suspicious that I might be trying to conceal an illicit substance.

Also, if it's any help, my school utilizes CertifiedBackground.com for the drug and background screening.

augurey

1 Article; 327 Posts

I agree, as long as you have a valid prescription for those drugs, you'll be fine. As the others said, it should be through the drug testing company.

We were asked if we were taking any medication before we even took the drug test. We were advised that the only time we'd be in trouble/dismissed from the program for a positive drug screen is if we are taking something without a prescription (other than the obvious illegal drugs).

Specializes in PACU. Has 6 years experience.

We do drug screens at my job currently and I can tell you what usually happens with a positive screen: the lab emails me (HR) and the candidate/employee saying there is a positive. They then list what you were positive for, and to send in evidenced of a prescription. Literally, an emailed picture of your prescription bottle (with Rx name, your name, etc, basically the label) and everything works out. Unless, of course you DON'T have a prescription :p

What I usually tell people is to go to the lab with your bottle so they can document it and it doesn't have to go through the steps above. Sometimes it still goes through the process above.

mrsboots87

1,761 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

Exactly what others have said. You do not need to contact your school and ask. All you do is bring your prescription bottles with you the drug testing site. On the form you sign giving consent for them to screen, it will ask if you are on any medications and what they are. ALWAYS disclose what you are taking. Then when it comes up positive, they can just contact you if they need further verification. They are not supposed to notify your school or employer with results of what meds you take because it can be a HIPAA violation to disclose your personal medical info. All they do is tell the school that you were positive or negative. If you have valid prescriptions for everything you show positive for, then they will report a negative screen to the school and that's that. As far as clinical facilities, they only care if you are impaired while on the site. If these medications impair you at all you can get removed from the program if reported and found guilty of being impaired at clinical. So cep you have a tolerance from chronic use, I would think that's not a problem, but only you know if you are fully able to be responsible a for lives while on your medications. Nurses work while taking all kinds of meds. It's just a matter of safety and you not being a danger to the patients. So don't stress about it. The school does not need to know about any medications you take unless they affect your performance negatively and the lab will only disclose a positive or negative result.

mrsboots87

1,761 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.
We do drug screens at my job currently and I can tell you what usually happens with a positive screen: the lab emails me (HR) and the candidate/employee saying there is a positive. They then list what you were positive for, and to send in evidenced of a prescription. Literally, an emailed picture of your prescription bottle (with Rx name, your name, etc, basically the label) and everything works out. Unless, of course you DON'T have a prescription :p

What I usually tell people is to go to the lab with your bottle so they can document it and it doesn't have to go through the steps above. Sometimes it still goes through the process above.

Are you sure that's even legal. From what I know, medications someone takes are covered under HIPAA. The lab should not be disclosing drugs that come up positive unless the employee does not have a valid prescription for them. The lab has a medical reviewer that is supposed to ony contact the drug screened person regarding their positives and ask for proof of valid prescription. If they can show that, then the result is supposed to go back to HR as a negative result. If they can't show valid prescriptions, then the lab will send a positive and what they were positive for. I would not be happy about my employer knowing my meds if I had a condition that I didn't want to disclose. If it doesn't affect performance it is none of their business and is my private medical information. (I do not take meds for anything FYI).

Specializes in ICU.

Here is what happened to me. I knew I would come up positive. They do not screen for Soma and Tizadine but may for Tramadol since it is a control now. I took my drug test, the company called me 6 days later. The longest 6 days of my life!! They then instructed me to take pics of my prescription bottle. Make sure it is the bottle from the date you took the test. I saved mine because my script ran out and I started a new one by the time tegu called. I took 3 pics of the bottle and emailed it to where I was told. I was then given a negative drug screen within an hour. It's very easy.

Specializes in PACU. Has 6 years experience.
Are you sure that's even legal. From what I know, medications someone takes are covered under HIPAA. The lab should not be disclosing drugs that come up positive unless the employee does not have a valid prescription for them. The lab has a medical reviewer that is supposed to ony contact the drug screened person regarding their positives and ask for proof of valid prescription. If they can show that, then the result is supposed to go back to HR as a negative result. If they can't show valid prescriptions, then the lab will send a positive and what they were positive for. I would not be happy about my employer knowing my meds if I had a condition that I didn't want to disclose. If it doesn't affect performance it is none of their business and is my private medical information. (I do not take meds for anything FYI).

Usually, they forward it to me when the employee has failed to provide a prescription after multiple attempts from the lab (usually a 48 hour warning). It's reported as a positive, otherwise if they had a prescription it would be reported as negative.

On occasion, they'll email me when someone said they had a prescription for XYZ drug but have failed to provide proof so I have to "grease the axels" a little and basically say "provide the prescription to the lab or lose your job."

mrsboots87

1,761 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.
Usually, they forward it to me when the employee has failed to provide a prescription after multiple attempts from the lab (usually a 48 hour warning). It's reported as a positive, otherwise if they had a prescription it would be reported as negative.

On occasion, they'll email me when someone said they had a prescription for XYZ drug but have failed to provide proof so I have to "grease the axels" a little and basically say "provide the prescription to the lab or lose your job."

That makes more sense. At that point it would kind of be on the employee for not responding in time to the reviewer.

Specializes in PACU. Has 6 years experience.
That makes more sense. At that point it would kind of be on the employee for not responding in time to the reviewer.

Yeah. Totally read my original post and realized I wasn't very clear! Usually there is a 48 hour window until it gets kicked to me but I've only had it happen once or twice. I'm told you can literally take a picture on your phone and email it right then and there to the medical reviewer and that's it.

I had one employee take a WEEK to get the prescription in to the reviewer for something he was supposedly taking daily (according to him). I had to tell him I had his termination paperwork signed in preparation of sending it downtown (to the central office) and he had 15 minutes to send his photo to the reviewer if he was particularly attached to keeping his job.