Does Methylphenidate Show Up On Drug Screen?

Doctors might prescribe Ritalin (also known as methylphenidate) to adults or children to treat attention deficit disorders and for some off-label uses. Even though this stimulant is controlled more tightly than some other kinds of medications, it’s perfectly legal to take it as a doctor prescribes it. In most cases, you should not stop taking a medicine that you need without speaking with your doctor’s office about it.

At the same time, people abuse this medication without a doctor’s prescription to help them lose weight or even to get high. Because of this, some people wonder if standard drug tests will show a positive for Ritalin. While most employers won’t have a problem with their employees taking prescriptions, they may have concerns that employees will abuse both legal and illegal substances.

Will Methylphenidate Show Up On A 5- Or 10-Panel Screen?

image of ritalinFirst, most people who have to take a drug screening should not have to worry. Companies usually order something called a five-panel test when they want to check employees. Ritalin will not show up on this standard screening. These are mostly geared towards looking for illegal substances.

Some screens will detect Ritalin and similar medications. While it’s not that likely that employers will check for this medicine, in some cases, they could. If you need to get tested by law enforcement, that may also be a concern. In some case, it’s possible for companies or even legal organizations to order these screenings.

Why do some screens show a positive for Ritalin? A more common use of Ritalin drug screenings is by medical professionals who want to know how much of the medication is in a patient’s bloodstream. This information may help the doctor figure out the right dosage for the future. While doctors usually use height and weight as a guide, some people metabolize medications differently, so these kinds of tests could help.

Are You Taking Ritalin And Facing A Screening?

If you’re taking a standard drug screening for work, you probably don’t need to worry about your legal Ritalin prescription. You might even be able to ask what kind of test you will be getting. If you have any concerns about it, you could consider taking a photo of the label of your prescription. If you get questioned about it, you can always show the employer that you have a prescription, so they’ll know that you’re not abusing Ritalin.