Drug tests at work

Drug test are being introduced at my workplace, I know this may seem a silly question, will my prescribed MS drugs show on these tests. I am currently on Avonex but will be moving to one of the new tablet forms soon.


i wouldnt think they would show up. i am not sure about sativex cos i dunno what will be the active ingredient or the ones ur employer would be looking for…

but i wouldnt think for a second they are looking at/for prescribed drugs. if owt does show then a simple explaination on ur part is all it would take to sort it i think.


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Hi Lance_ward,

I would think they test for certain “illegal” drug types/groups, rather than individual drugs.

Can you image the size of the sample you would have to give !! and the cost of testing for everything.

People on a whole take some sort of drug regularly these days, we have a drug for almost everything.

Regards, Andy

Thanks for reply, and even looking at certain legal drugs, but I didn’t think avonex would be one of those.

Exactly what I thought, thanks for your reply.

Hi, you’ll be fine, you are legitimately on Avonex, and can back that up with evidence from your doctor so that’s fine.

when they did it at my work, I wasn’t tested but we were told that a high percentage of people will fail, their sample will be sent for further testing (more sophisticated testing) and then that will pass so these people will be fine. A lot of people will still fail though and that will be followed up with their dr and they will be on legitimate drugs so they will then pass too. That will leave a very small number of people who fail because they are on illegitimate drugs.

So, you will be fine but, when they ask at the test which drugs you take just be honest and declare Avonex, I’m just warning you from how we did it, not to be too surprised if Avonex fails you but, in the end you will be fine. Don’t worry.

Avonex is an interferon, which, as far as I know, does not have any potential for recreational (ab)use, so I can’t see why on earth they should be looking for it. It doesn’t cause intoxication or a “high”, does it? Besides, it is produced in the body naturally, in response to viral infection, so if any were found, the only issue would be whether the concentrations were suspicious, as is it not something you would never expect to find naturally.

I think certain other drugs used to treat symptoms are much more likely to be found. For example, I’d be surprised if any work-related drug test didn’t routinely look for benzodiazapines. I am on diazepam, so would expect that one to come up. I’m not sure about some of the neuropathic painkillers (gabapentin, amitriptyline and the like), and whether they’d be looked for OR show up.

Similarly codeine, which is a legitimate painkiller, but does lead to abuse/dependancy in some people. So I’m not sure whether they routinely look for it or not. Again, if they tested me, they’d find it.

In any event, I can’t see there being any problem whatsoever in relation to properly prescribed drugs. Imagine the furore if anyone was disciplined over prescription medication (unless it was a safety-critical job where they had to declare it, but hadn’t). The lawyers would have a field day!


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I agree with the others: you don’t need to worry about being unmasked as a secret Avonex-fiend!


These work drug tests make me FURIOUS. They don’t differentiate between whether you are under the influence now or still have it in your system from days ago but not presently intoxicated, in the case of cannabis. So theoretically one employee could go home and enjoy a quiet night in with some cannabis, while his/her colleague instead spends Friday night getting legless and loutish in the pub, possibly getting into a fight or causing criminal damage. By Monday morning both will be sober, but if they are drug tested the cannabis user would be sacked. How is that fair? Why should an employer be able to dictate what a worker does in their OWN TIME?

And don’t even get me started on that hysterical nonsense/lies shrieking from the front of the Daily Mail the other day.

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