Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 3 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
yeah I wondered that too I read a bit and it seems like most employers use the 5 panel test that checks for the 'biggies' as far as recreational (ab)use goes - the 10 panel appears to be available more as home test kits, or in hospitals where overdosing on TCA's could present itself. Just seems odd seeing TCAs in the list with the other drugs, doesn't it?
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are not something one would want to abuse.
In my experiences TCAs are not as commonly tested for as in the past. I think this may be in part due to the decrease in prescriptions of these drugs.
I would be inclined to think that analytes from this list from the Drug Testing Guide would be prime suspects for any panels expanded beyond the SAMSHA-5. In reality only the SAMSHA-5 designates specific analytes to test for. Expanded panels can vary in what they test for or how many analytes they can test for. I've seen panels for everything from 10 analytes to over 18.
I found this on a commercial site through google search:
Tricyclic antidepressants have been prescribed since the 1950s for depression and compulsive disorders. Until recently TCAs were the primary choice of physicians for the vast majority of people with major depressive disorders. Ironically TCAs are often prescribed for symptomatic treatment of drug addiction and withdrawal and in particular, alcoholism. Tricyclic antidepressants work by raising the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain by slowing the rate of reuptake, or re-absorption, by nerve cells. Usually TCAs are taken over an extended period as results from the drugs are gradual. Because of the possibility of causing serious cardiac complications, TCAs can be lethal if misused at high doses. Abuse of TCAs can be the result of fear of relapse rather than any psycho-pharmacological effect however the potential for TCA abuse is well established, since the drugs have clearly defined euphoric psychological and stimulatory physiological action in cases of chronic usage. Generic and brand names of the tricyclic antidepressants include Adapin, Amitriptyline, Amoxapine, Asendin, Desipramine, Doxepin, Elavil, Imipramine, Ludiomil, Maprotiline, Norpramin, Nortriptyline, Pamelor, Pertofrane, Protriptyline, Sinequan, Surmontil, Tofranil, and Vivactil. Any comprehensive drug screening program should include a TCA panel.
Abuse of TCAs can be the result of fear of relapse rather than any psycho-pharmacological effect however the potential for TCA abuse is well established, since the drugs have clearly defined euphoric psychological and stimulatory physiological action in cases of chronic usage.
The quote above not withstanding (and I've been prescribed TCA, and during periods of teenage experimentation and never once did I get any effect approaching "euphoric" that would make the thought of taking more than my prescribed dose even enter my mind!), I was more concerned about the potential for these "pre-employment screenings" checking up for prior addictions, since they test for methadone (and it's only been recently that we could say that methadone has become a "recreational" drug), which is more likely to be used as a maintenance/anti-addictive, and the quote above also states "Ironically TCAs are often prescribed for symptomatic treatment of drug addiction and withdrawal and in particular, alcoholism."
So, could both TCAs & methadone be on these pre-employment drug screens to look for "potential problems" by weeding out people who have had past drug/alcohol problems? Or even mental health problems? How freakin' legal is that? Just seeing the TCAs on there got me riled up, because it's no employer's business what my shrink prescribes me (or that I, in fact, see a shrink at all)! The other ones...I have to understand, because even though many of them ARE legitimately prescribed, they are often abused & available "on the street", as it were. I mean, my father's prescribed Amitriptyline for sleep; I would hate for that to come up on some stupid pre-employment screening and him not get a job because they thought he was a drug abuser/an alcoholic in treatment/a "crazy guy". He's just a stressed out old man who has trouble sleeping & didn't want anything addictive. But if he had instead gotten Ambien, he'd be in the clear with drug testing! *blood boils*
I've NEVER seen a shady guy on a street corner try to catch my attention and then try to sell me some Elavil!