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Drug Testing for Benzodiazepines - Beyond the SAMSHA-5

Source: Quest Diagnostics
Date: March 08, 2006

Benzodiazepines are a class of drug commonly known as tranquilizers and sleeping pills. Many companies test for only the SAMSHA-5 required drugs (amphetamines, cocaine metabolite, marijuana, opiates and PCP), whether their testing is DOT mandated or not. However, companies without DOT employees may choose to test for additional drugs, such as benzodiazepines, as these drugs can also affect
workplace safety.


Trade Names: Centrax (Prazepam), Librium (Chlordiazepoxide), Paxipam (Halazepam), Restoril (Temazepam), Serax (Oxazepam), Tranxene (Clorazepate), Valium (Diazepam), Xanax (Alprazolam), Ativan (Lorazepam), Dalmane (Flurazepam), Halcion (Triazolam), Klonopin (Clonazepam), Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)
Street Names: Downers, sleeping pills, candy
Route of Administration: Tablet/capsule, injection, rectal
Uses: Sedative-hypnotic, insomia, pre-anesthetic, antianxiety/panic disorder (anxiolytic), anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, alcohol withdrawal syndrome
Effects: Psychological - Drowsiness, sedation, dizziness, lightheadedness, depressed reflexes, stupor and coma;
Physiological - Strong analgesia, respiratory depression, dilated pupils and decreased heart rate


Confusion, slurred speech, "drunken" behavior, clumsiness, difficulty breathing, excitability, clammy skin, coma and death.
Tolerance Habit-forming
Metabolism: Extensively metabolized with many active metabolites

Duration of action:

Onset - 30-60 minutes
Duration - 12-24 hours
Detection Time - Up to 7 days (up to 30 days with chronic use)

Benzodiazepines Laboratory Analysis:

Specimen - Urine
Screen Cutoff - 300 ng/mL
Confirm Cutoff - 200 ng/mL
Drug Reported - Parent/metabolite

Testing for benzodiazepines can easily be added to your existing drug-testing panel and can help keep your workplace safer.