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Old 11-01-2005, 09:21 AM   #1
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xinerevelle HB User
Question Tramadol and Drug Test?

I have just accepted a new position (making 80% more than I'm making now... yay!) and they require a pre-employment drug screen. I've been taking doctor-prescribed Tramadol on and off for the past few months as needed for lower back pain (L4/L5 and L5/S1 herniated disks... awaiting myelogram and then potentially surgery). The new company didn't ask, and I didn't tell, about any physical limitations to the job, so I don't want to run right out and tell them that I have this back problem (which was a workers comp case from a few years ago).

So, I'm worried that the prescription Tramadol is going to show up in the drug screen and then I'll have to explain a bunch and then potentially won't get the job. I don't abuse the drug or anything, and I don't smoke/drink, etc. (I've never taken illicit drugs or smoked pot in my life.) I guess I'm worried because I've seen another person at my former company get fired after being on the job for 2 weeks because her drug screen showed pain killers for a back injury (prescription). I live in a right to work state, so they can hire/fire as they see fit.

The position I am being hired for is sales administration manager of a manufacturing company. I'm currently director of sales and marketing for an internet service provider, so the jobs are overly demanding physically.

Am I being paranoid for no reason?

 
Old 11-01-2005, 12:35 PM   #2
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

I'd suggest you phone your pharmacy or the prescribing doc and inquire as to how Ultram will show on the test. Pharmacist might be best Although it works like a narcotic in relieving the pain and for some people who might have been more prone to addiction problems they have to be concerns as they can addict to this as well even though it is not a narcotic. That fact of whether it is or is not has been debated much on these boards, but I'm going by what I have read in the PDR and other medication books and those specify that it is not narcotic.

Best wishes and congrats on the new job.

 
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:04 PM   #3
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xinerevelle HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

Good idea, Quietcook. I just don't want to come off as a person trying to "beat" a drug test. I want to keep my personal like personal, if I can, regarding my back problems, but also don't want to seem like a druggie. I'll call the pharmacy.

 
Old 11-01-2005, 03:06 PM   #4
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Terri43 HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

Hello Xinerevelle
Before I worry about the pain meds showing up in a drug test I would think about letting them know about your back problem. I have had a job and I told them of my prior back problems and they had me take a physical before I could start to make sure I had no limitations. A year and a half after starting work in this place I tried to stop a 300 lb patient from falling and herniated 3 discs. Only 1 was from my prior problem. Now they are trying to use my back problems against me. They have got my complete medical history. They know more about my medical history then I do. So if you were to keep your back problem from them and you ever get hurt you might end up without a job and unable to work. If you are truthfull with your employer you will be better off.
Good luck on the job.
Terri

 
Old 11-01-2005, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

I agree with you Xinerevelle, and also would desire to keep my personal health to myself. Unless the current health situation will keep you from performing the job you are being hired for, say lifting 50 lb boxes, it really is not any of their business at this point. Should your job be an analyst job and suddenly someone wants you to help move a heavy object, you can gracefully say that your back isn't as fit as you would prefer and rather than risk injuring it, ask them to call the appropriate personel.

Say you had been diagnosed with questionable cells during a pap exam. That's none of their business, as it could never go beyond that, and if the situation changed say two years down the road, it still was none of their business that a question existed before you were hired. Frankly, in my personal opinion, even if surgery has been recommended at this point, until the situation becomes one where it is a must and you agree to undergo the surgery at that point, then is when it becomes anyone's business other than your doctors. Needless to say, I'm no lawyer, but like you, I am an individual and my personal health matters that have no affect on being able to perform a desk job should be no one's business other than mine and my doctor's until such time as I decide to share the information or approval is given for surgery and the insurance company is contacted. Just my take on it.

Best wishes, and let us know your outcome on testing and the job.

 
Old 11-02-2005, 07:17 AM   #6
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Terri43 HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

I just wanted to give my side. when I filled out my application they asked if I had any back problems or surgeries. They take your medical problems and think about the health insurance they have to pay for if that is something they offer. Not that they would use it against you when thinking about giving you the job. My employer didn't use my past medical history against me but I was up front with them and thank god I did because since I got hurt they have gotten everything that has ever happened to me even my shrinks doctor reports. which I didn't think was any of their business. but they have it.But they can't get me for laying about anything on my application. Not trying to seem like i'm getting on your case. Sorry if you take it that way.
Terri

 
Old 11-02-2005, 09:16 AM   #7
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xinerevelle HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

Well, when I started this work comp case against a former employer for my current back problems, the insurance company wanted me to sign a form that said they could see "any and all of my medical files at ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER!" I was shocked. I consulted an attorney who said to cross that out and put in there that they could only pull medical files related to my back injury, both this one and any prior injuries. It's really none of their business if I have a uterine fibroid or even if I've had an ingrown toenail. It doesn't effect my back, so it's none of their business.

As for the new employer: They didn't ask any such questions on the application. They only want a breath-alcohol test and a urinalysis. I go to do that today. They have the right to request a physical, but since I'm not going to be doing a physical job (like diving under an oil rig or working on a production line) I doubt they'll ask for it.

They also did not ask if I had ever filed a work comp claim (don't know if they can ask that or not). If they ask me direct questions I will answer truthfully. But I'm not going to go out of my way to create problems for myself. Just as they don't disclose all to me in the interview process (maybe one of my new staff members has a temper problem or an absentee problem, but they didn't tell me).

Testing today. I guess they'll only tell me if there's a problem, right?

 
Old 11-02-2005, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

Xinerevelle,

Agree with you. Many years ago was injured when I crushed my arm and had the kind of home owners insurance that made your house payments if you were off work for more than 30 days. Their standard form also allowed them access to any and all of my medical information. Did not have an attorney, but that just made me mad, and when I sent the signed form in, it was lined out and I had written in that they could access ONLY records related to that injury which occurred on said date.

They called me and threatened to not pay, but could not justify to me why they would need records for anything other than the injury that was keeping me from working. So, I politely told them to what they had to do, but to be prepared to explain to a judge in court why they wanted records that had nothing to do with the claim. They paid up and did not raise the issue again each month when I resubmitted while off work as the arm was partially reconstructed.

Have a great day.

 
Old 11-02-2005, 10:44 AM   #9
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Terri43 HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

My lawyer just had to take the lawyer for my employer to court to get them to stop asking for my records from my shrink. I always have to go to my doctors office to sign a release form and the lawyer always gives them a deadline or threatens to take action against my doctor. I don't know how the court case turned out yet. But w/c is using my mental health against me because they got an IME to say that depressed people don't heal well so i'm not a candidate for surgery. Now that makes me more depressed. When I first got hurt the adjuster asked me everything about myself and all my injuries or surgeries. I told him I had a lump removed from my breast and he asked if I filed w/c for that. give me a break.lol he was a big a**hole
Terri

 
Old 11-02-2005, 06:50 PM   #10
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xinerevelle HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

Wow! Terri43 -- that sucks! I can't believe the jerk would ask you if a breast lump was a w/c claim. The audaciousness astounds me! (Actually, it doesn't, but it should.)

Sorry about the IME. I hope you get a chance for a second opinion.

I took the drug test today, but didn't get a chance to call the pharmacy to ask first. I guess I'll have to take my chances...

Thanks!

 
Old 11-03-2005, 01:23 PM   #11
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Katinthebag81 HB User
Re: Tramadol and Drug Test?

Will you let us know when you find out if tramadol shows up on drug screens?

 
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