Test Catalog

Interpretive Handbook

Test 8473 :
Opiates Confirmation, Urine

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Codeine is converted by hepatic metabolism to morphine and norcodeine with a half-life of 2 to 4 hours. If codeine is ingested, the ratio of codeine to morphine generally exceeds 1.0 in urine during the first 24 hours. The ratio may fall below 1.0 after 24 hours, and after 30 hours, only morphine may be detected.

 

Morphine is a naturally occurring narcotic analgesic obtained from the poppy plant, Papaver somniferum. Morphine is converted by hepatic metabolism to normorphine with a half-life of 2 to 4 hours. The presence of morphine in urine can indicate exposure to morphine, heroin, or codeine within 2 to 3 days. Ingestion of bakery products containing poppy seeds can also cause morphine to be excreted in urine. If excessively large amounts are consumed, this can result in urine morphine concentrations up to 2,000 ng/mL for a period of 6 to 12 hours after ingestion.

 

Hydrocodone exhibits a complex pattern of metabolism including O-demethylation, N-demethylation, and 6-keto reduction to the 6-beta hydroxymetabolites. Hydromorphone and norhydrocodone are both metabolites of hydrocodone. Dihydrocodeine is also a minor metabolite. Trace amounts of hydrocodone can also be found in the presence of approximately 100-fold higher concentrations of oxycodone or hydromorphone since it can be a pharmaceutical impurity in these medications. The presence of hydrocodone >100 ng/mL indicates exposure within 2 to 3 days prior to specimen collection.

 

Hydromorphone is metabolized primarily in the liver and is excreted primarily as the glucuronidated conjugate, with small amounts of parent drug and minor amounts of 6-hydroxy reduction metabolites. The presence of hydromorphone >100 ng/mL indicates exposure within 2 to 3 days prior to specimen collection. Hydromorphone is also a metabolite of hydrocodone; therefore, the presence of hydromorphone could also indicate exposure to hydrocodone.

 

Dihydrocodeine is a semisynthetic narcotic analgesic prepared by the hydrogenation of codeine. It is also a minor metabolite of hydrocodone. It is metabolized to dihydromorphine and has a half-life of 3.4 to 4.5 hours. 

 

Oxycodone is metabolized to noroxycodone, oxymorphone, and their glucuronides, and is excreted primarily via the kidney. The presence of oxycodone >100 ng/mL indicates exposure to oxycodone within 2 to 3 days prior to specimen collection.

 

Oxymorphone is metabolized in the liver to noroxymorphone and excreted via the kidney primarily as the glucuronide conjugates. Oxymorphone is also a metabolite of oxycodone and, therefore, the presence of oxymorphone could also indicate exposure to oxycodone.

 

Naloxone is a synthetic narcotic antagonist and used for partial or complete reversal of opioid depression induced by natural or synthetic opioids. It has also been incorporated into oral tablets of opioids to discourage abuse. The duration of action is dependent on the dose and route of administration. The half-life in adults is approximately 30 to 81 minutes.

 

The detection interval for opiates is generally 2 to 3 days after last ingestion.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Detection and quantification of codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, noroxycodone, noroxymorphone, norhydrocodone, dihydrocodeine, and naloxone in urine

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

This procedure reports the total urine concentration; this is the sum of the unconjugated and conjugated forms of the parent drug.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

This test detects drugs structurally similar to morphine. Other drugs in the opioid class, such as fentanyl, meperidine, and methadone are not detected.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Negative

Cutoff concentrations

Codeine by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Dihydrocodeine-by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Hydrocodone by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Norhydrocodone-by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Hydromorphone by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Oxycodone by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Noroxycodone-by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Oxymorphone by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Noroxymorphone-by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Naloxone-by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Morphine by LC-MS/MS: 25 ng/mL

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Gutstein HB, Akil H: Chapter 21: Opioid Analgesics. In Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 11th edition. Edited by LL Brunton, JS Lazo, KL Parker. New York, McGraw-Hill Companies Inc, 2006. Available at: http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=940653

2. Baselt RC: Dispositition of Toxic Drugs and Chemical in Man. Ninth edition. Edited by RC Baselt. Foster City, CA. Biomedical Publication, 2011

3. Hackett LPDusci LJIlett KFChiswell GM: Optimizing the hydrolysis of codeine and morphine glucuronides in urine. Ther Drug Monit 2002;24(5):652-657