Over the Counter, Drug Tests Explained

There are various reasons why an over-the-counter (OTC) home drug test kit may prove beneficial to patients throughout the year. Whether for employment, random testing, or medically needed, patients may request your pharmacy with questions about OTC options before taking a real test.1 Thus, it is essential to know about the different options available to patients for at-home drug testing.

Urine Tests

The most common drug test used by employers that can be seen in the OTC section is a urine home drug test. Urine tests often screen for drugs like marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, and opiates. Unlike the saliva test, urine screens can reveal drug use for an extended period after the drug’s effects have worn off.

Luckily, many OTC home drug test kit options can give patients a good idea about passing a professionally administered test. At most pharmacy chains, these screens can be found, presenting a selection of different options to choose from. Some trials come with the capability of only testing for one wrong item, such as marijuana, where others may screen for multiple drugs, including amphetamines, opioids, cocaine, and others. Usually, the tests designed for only one drug are cheaper, but patients may help from a more comprehensive panel depending on their situation.

At-home urine screens are less trustworthy than ones done professionally. These tests are mainly designed to give a pass/fail reading to patients at a specific threshold. This suggests that some criteria done professionally may be stricter, demanding a lower concentration of drug to be found in the urine to pass. Moreover, urine screens can occasionally give false positives when attempting to detect usage. Certain foods, vitamins, OTC medications, and prescriptions can trigger a positive result on a drug test. Therefore, it is essential to consider this when positive results do occur.

Saliva Tests

Unlike urine screens, saliva tests will only show as positive if a substance was used lately, usually within 24 hours. Hence, it is essential to know precisely what kind of test the patient will be undergoing before recommending an OTC home drug test.

Nevertheless, if the patient is reasonably sure they will undergo a saliva test, it will often prove to be the cheapest option when purchasing over the counter. Saliva home drug test kits will usually come with additional experiments, unlike most urine screen alternatives, making them an excellent choice for people that may be screened regularly. The major downside stems from the fact that this option will not give an accurate reading for those who undergo a urine or hair screen.

Key Points 

Recognizing what sort of test is being directed and how exacting the test executives will be are basic contemplations for patients searching for OTC medication test alternatives before making their buy.

Urine screens are less reliable than hair tests and normally only show drug usage from up to 30 days.

Hair tests will provide users the most reliable result, revealing drug usage from up to 90 days.