Urine And Blood Tests

 A New Era
One of the most exciting and quality-producing movements in pain care has been the introduction of blood and urine testing to the clinic setting. Commercial laboratories which specialize in pain care have brought us methods to identify abusers of illegal drugs and to monitor compliance with medication instruction and help identify those who misuse or divert pain medications. Testing provides a high degree of medical malpractice liability protection and gives the public assurance that only legitimate pain patients are being prescribed potentially abusable drugs.

While the new era of blood and urine testing is most propitious and needed, the technical and scientific information has come so fast and furious it is somewhat confusing as to how urine and blood testing should be done. Given below are some guidance and recommendations as to when and why the different tests should be used. A cautionary admonition is highlighted since—unlike past experience with blood and urine testing which was primarily based on pre-employment, confirmed drug abusers, or opioid-naive humans—chronic pain patients may take high dosages of opioids and other pain medications. It is becoming increasingly clear that chronic administration of opioids to tolerant pain patients induces metabolism that is not yet fully understood. Consequently, recommendations and guidance provided here will undoubtedly refine and advance in the future.

Please refer to the June 2007 issue for the complete text. In the event you need to order a back issue, please click here.

First published on: June 1, 2007