Oral fluid offers an alternative specimen for controlled substance monitoring

Answers From the Lab

Clinical practice guidelines recognize oral fluid screening as a valid alternative to urine tests for assessing drug use. In this test-specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Paul Jannetto, Ph.D., explains the advantages provided by Mayo Clinic Laboratories' oral fluid screening.

"Most urine collections are not witnessed. Therefore, urine is easy to adulterate or even substitute," Dr. Jannetto says. "Direct observation of oral fluid screening is simple. Drugs also tend to be detected sooner in oral fluid versus urine."

Mayo Clinic Laboratories' cost-effective immunoassay panel includes tests for opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, marijuana, stimulants such as methamphetamine, and PCP (phencyclidine).

"Oral toxicology tests can assist the clinician in identifying when patients are not taking prescribed medications and can also provide information about other drug use that wasn't reported to the physician," Dr. Jannetto says. "Toxicology drug tests are a tool to support recovery and provide motivation for compliance."

Listen to learn more about Mayo Clinic Laboratories' oral fluid drugs of abuse screen.

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Barbara J. Toman

Barbara J. Toman is a Senior Communications Specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is also the science writer for Mayo’s Neurosciences Update newsletter, which helps referring physicians to stay informed about Mayo’s treatment and research. Barbara has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2007. She enjoys international travel and cooking.