UCSF Navigation Bar

UCSF Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Home Page

Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

Internal Resources

Click here for more information about laboratory operations and procedures

If you have additional questions regarding this test, please call: 415-353-1667

Search Our Test Menu

Opiates Screen, Urine

Item Value
Test Update Information Effective 01/14/2013, the platform used for the opiate immunoassay screen has changed from the Abbot Axsym to the Beckman UniCel DxC 800. Additionally, the cutoff value to determine if a sample is positive has been reduced from 2000 µg/L to 300 µg/L, in line with best practice recommendations. This change will cause an approximately 17% increase in positive results in our patient population.

(Wu AHB et al, National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory Medicine Practice Guidelines: Recommendations for the use of laboratory tests to support poisoned patients who present to the Emergency Department. Clin Chem, 2003, 49(3): 357-379)
Approval req'd? No
Available Stat? Yes
Test code OPI
Test group Opiate
Performed by Parnassus & Mission Bay Chemistry
In House Availability Test available 24 hours per day 7 days per week
Method Competitive enzyme immunoassay method (Beckman UniCel DxC 800 analyzer) using G6PDH-labeling
Container type Urine cup
Amount to Collect See preferred volume
Sample type Random urine
Preferred volume 1 mL urine
Min. Volume 0.5 mL urine
Normal range Negative

Note: a negative result indicates that this class of drugs is not present, or they are present at a concentration below the cut-off concentration of 300 µg/L
Stability Refrigerated 7 days, frozen at -20C 2 weeks
Turn around times Stat 2 hours, Routine 4 hours
Additional information Morphine can be detected within 11-54 hours after use and can be detected as long as 11 days after use. (From: Verstraete AG. Detection Times of Drugs of Abuse in Blood, Urine and Oral Fluid. Ther Drug Monit, 26(2) April 2004, 200-205)

A concentration of < 300 µg/L is considered negative by this test. A positive result is ≥ 300 µg/L and indicates the presence of this class of drugs. This immunoassay is only a screening test and is not definitive. Results cannot be used for medico-legal purposes.

This is a presumptive screen for possible heroin or morphine use within the past 1-2 days. It may also detect morphine from the metabolism of codeine:

Click here for Opiate Metabolism Pathways

False positive results may occur due to other cross reacting substances, however, positive results are NOT routinely confirmed by a second method. If confirmation of the test result is required, it is the responsibility of the physician to separately order a specific confirmatory test for the drug identified. Samples are held for 7 days. Contact laboratory at x 31667 to request confirmatory testing. Confirmation test code OPIQNT.

Click here for List of Cross Reactive Substances

The assay is not sensitive in detecting most prescribed opiates such as hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone and oxymorphone. A separate oxycodone screen is available at UCSF (test code: OXYU) that detects oxycodone and oxymorphone. If hydrocodone or hydromorphone use is suspected, an opiate confirmation should be ordered from ARUP (test code: OPIQNT). False negative results may also occur as use of synthetic and some semi-synthetic opiates cannot be ruled out by this assay. Specifically, this assay will not detect use of fentanyl, methadone, meperidine or tramadol. A separate methadone screen is available at UCSF (test code: METHA). If use of opiates not detected by this screen is suspected, immunoassay screens can be ordered from ARUP [e.g. fentanyl (ARUP#2012284), meperidine (ARUP#2102288) or tramadol (ARUP#2012297)].

See also Drug Screening.
CPT coding 80301
LOINC code 19296-3
Last Updated 1/18/2018 10:35:51 AM
Entry Number 694
UCSF home page UCSF home page About UCSF Search UCSF UCSF Medical Center