HC-ibuprofen, which is also known by the brand name Vicoprofen, is a combination of two different drugs, namely ibuprofen and hydrocodone. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that´s used in many over-the-counter painkillers like Advil. Hydrocodone, on the other hand, is a potent semi-synthetic opioid. Due to its narcotic nature, it´s usually only used for short-term pain relief.
Can You Fail a Drug Test because of HC-Ibuprofen?
Yes, you can, but it depends on the nature of the drug test. The standard "SAMHSA-5" drug test only focuses on opiates, such as morphine, raw opium, codeine, and heroin. It usually ignores synthetic opioids like hydrocodone, because despite their similarities, they don´t break down into morphine. Even if an immunoassay screening shows a false-positive for opiates, this may be disproved by a subsequent GC/MS test if it only looks for opiates.
Ibuprofen is commonly available without prescription, so it´s never a target of drug tests, although it has caused false positives for THC in the past.
Before you get too relaxed, however, this doesn´t mean you´re entirely safe. There´s a growing awareness of the recreational use of prescription drugs, so employers are gradually moving over to extended tests. Most of these tests will detect the presence of hydrocodone in your system.
How Long Does HC-Ibuprofen Stay in the System?
Hydrocodone has a relatively short half-life of 4-6 hours, so it leaves the body quite quickly. If you´re taking a urine test, you might fail if you´ve used HC-ibuprofen in the last three or four days. For a saliva test, the detection time is slightly shorter at 2-3 days.
Hair drug tests, however, can detect drug use over the last 90 days. What´s more, the drugs that they can detect are usually only limited by what the lab is searching for. This means that if you´ve been using HC-ibuprofen for any amount of time, you will likely fail the test for hydrocodone.
Passing a Drug Test for HC-Ibuprofen
Firstly, if you´ve been prescribed HC-Ibuprofen by your doctor, you can show this to your employer to explain the positive drug result.
If you can´t do this for some reason (e.g., you prefer to keep your medications a private matter), you need to take another approach. If your pain is manageable, you could completely come off HC-ibuprofen for the few days before your drug test. This should be enough to pass a urinalysis or saliva swab.
If this isn´t an option, maybe because of severe pain, you´ll need to use an emergency detox. For a urine drug test, you could get a detox drink and use it an hour or two before giving a urine sample. However, these drinks usually recommend abstaining for a short period before a test.
If you´ll be taking a saliva drug test, use a detox mouthwash shortly before going to your drug test. Hair drug tests, meanwhile, will need you to use a special detox shampoo on the day of your test.