Dr. Dean

Will Paxil Show Up In A Drug Test?

Posting Date: 06/08/2000

Robert: I will be taking a drug test for a military job. They?re going to test my overall fitness, and take urine and blood samples.

My life is on a bit of a bumpy road right now, so I?m taking 40 mg of the antidepressant Paxil each day. This is something I don't want the military to know about.

Visit the Depression Center

If I skip my medication for a few days will it clear from my system and not show up on the test?

Dr. Dean: To my knowledge, antidepressants leave your system within 24 hours, so a few days of abstinence might help you avoid detection.

The labs set up the tests to screen for specific drugs, and antidepressants are not part of a typical screening anyway. However, if the military is looking for evidence of them, the tests can certainly detect them.

You might want to think more about what this job means to you. You?ll have to stop taking a medication that's important to you. If you denied on a job application that you are taking prescription medications, you lied. Are you sure this is what you want?