Medical Q&As

Drug screening - I'm on antidepressants?

I am on antidepressant tablets and I have to go for a urine test. If I stop taking them how long will it take for my urine to be clear?

You do not indicate why you are going for a urine test. When samples are being sent to the laboratory for analysis the nature of the analysis has to be specified. The sample request form has to specify exactly what the doctor is looking for. For example if the doctor is testing for the presence of infection the sample goes to the microbiology laboratory and the sample is analysed for the presence of bacteria. If on the other hand the doctor were testing for the presence of glucose the sample would be sent to the biochemistry laboratory. There are many dozens of tests that can be performed on urine and there is no such thing as a mega analyser that tests for everything. The doctor has to specify what he is looking for. The import of your question suggests to me that your urine is being tested as part of workplace related screening for the presence of drugs. Prescription drugs such as antidepressants are not normally included as part of such drug screens. Therefore I donít see any reason for you to stop a legitimate medical treatment for fear that something might show up in a urine test. To answer the latter part of your question the persistence of medication related traces in your urine depends on the rate of excretion of the drug from your body. That period of time would vary depending on which antidepressant was being used and could vary from hours to several days.