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    Urine drug screen

    Drug screen - urine

    A urine drug screen isused to detect illegal and some prescription drugs in the urine.

    How the Test is Performed

    Before the test, you may be asked to remove all your clothing and wear a hospital gown. You will then be placed in a room where you have no access to your personal items or water. In this environment, you cannot dilute the sample, nor can you use someone else's urine for the test.

    This test involvescollecting a "clean-catch" (midstream) urine sample:

    • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry your hands with a clean towel.
    • Men and boys should wipe clean the head of the penis with a moist cloth or disposable towlette. Before cleaning, gently pull back (retract) the foreskin, if you have one.
    • Womenand girls need to wash the area between the lips of the vagina with soapy water and rinse well. Or if instructed, use a disposable towlette to wipe the genital area.
    • As you start to urinate, allow a small amount to fall into the toilet bowl. This clears the urethra of contaminants.
    • Then, inthe container youare given, catch about 1 - 2 ounces of urine. Remove the container from the urine stream.
    • Give the container to the health care provider or assistant.
    • Wash your hands again with soap and water.

    The sample is then taken to the laboratory for evaluation.

    How the Test Will Feel

    The test involves only normal urination.

    Why the Test is Performed

    The test is performed to detect the presence of illegal and some prescription drugs in your urine. Their presence indicates that you recently usedsuch drugs.

    Normal Results

    No drugs in the urine.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    If the test result is positive, another test called gas-chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) may be done to confirm the results. The GC-MS will help tell the difference between a false positive and a true positive.

    In some cases, a test will register a false positive. This can result from interfering factors such as some foods, prescription medications, and other drugs.

    References

    Pincus MR, Abraham NZ Jr. Toxicology and therapeutic drug monitoring. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 23.

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          Review Date: 1/1/2013

          Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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