Meperidine is also often known by the names Demerol, Pethidine, Isonipecaine, and Mepergan. It is one of a number of synthetic opioid pain medications that are commonly prescribed, but it can also land you in trouble during a drug test if you're not careful.
Given this, it's good to know if you're in danger of failing. While knowing the detection time of meperidine is useful, you may not even be tested for it. But what if you are? And what if you're tested randomly without warning? What can you do in these situations? Read on for all the answers.
When will you be tested for meperidine?
There's a very important distinction to make between "traditional" opiates and synthetic opioids like meperidine, even though they work in a similar manner.
Drugs like opium, morphine, codeine and heroin are all derived from the opium poppy, so they all ultimately get processed into morphine by the body. This is what the opiates panel of a standard 5-panel drug test looks for.
Synthetic opioids like meperidine, on the other hand, do not break down into morphine, so they usually remain undetected by these 5-panel drug tests.
So, does this mean you're safe? If you know for sure that you only need to take a 5-panel drug test, you are unlikely to fail because of meperidine. Extended drug tests are a different matter, however, because these regularly target a range of synthetic opioids. There is also considerable interest in incorporating opioid detection into the basic 5-panel test, so this may well happen at some point.
What's the detection time of meperidine?
Unlike with the SAMHSA-5 testing devices, there are no defined thresholds for meperidine detection. It should be safe to assume the same detection times as for morphine, which is four days in urine and about the same in saliva tests.
Of course, you'll need to stop using it completely, which may be a challenge if you've been on it for a while. It is a narcotic after all, so you may want to consult your doctor about replacement therapies.
What if you get tested without warning?
Employers are coming to realize the effectiveness of random drug testing. Unlike with a pre-employment drug test, you will not know when you're going to get that tap on the shoulder, so you have limited time to prepare.
This is why it's a good idea to have a detox drink or some detox pills ready, as well as a detox mouthwash if saliva tests are a possibility.
For a urine drug test, you will then be able to immediately use your detox drink as directed. You then just need to delay for an hour or so as you flush the toxins out of your urine by peeing a couple of times. By the time you give your actual sample, any toxins should be well below the detectable threshold.
Saliva drug tests are even quicker to prepare for. Some can even be swallowed, so you can even use one as you slowly walk to your test.