Medications show up on drug screens? Social Stigma

Q: I'm doing my thesis on the social ramifications of BP. (1)What is the probability of someone(employer,etc.) discovering or detecting any of the medications in a drug test.(2)If so then , how should one handle the problem. One would be very leary about sharing this due to the ignorance and stigma the general public, unfortunately, has attached to it.

Dear Jamie --
The "mood stabilizers" (lithium, Depakote, Tegretol and the newer anti-seizure medications such as topiramate) don't show up on routine "urine drug screens", at least none I've ever used; those test for amphetamine, opiates like heroin and morphine, marijuana -- but also "benzodiazepines".  Only that last group might be an issue, if someone's taking anything from that large family: Xanax (alprazolam); Ativan (lorazepam); Valium (diazepam); Klonopin (clonazepam); Librium (chlordiazepoxide), and others.

As for stigma, you are absolutely right about your concern.

Dr. Phelps


Published February, 2001