Pain Management Testing

Pain management testing incorporates many different purposes into one testing panel. Its primary focus is to verify that pain management patients are taking their medications appropriately.

In this context, “appropriate use” means not using too little or too much of the medication. Low levels of drug present or no drug present may indicate very little drug use or no use at all. This may be because the patient is having difficulty with the medication or that the patient is subverting or selling the medication to others.

High levels of drug identified during testing may indicate that the medication is not helping the patient and the patient is taking more than prescribed. The patient also could be getting the medication from more than one physician.

Another focus of pain management testing is to verify that the patient is not taking other medication that may interfere with the prescribed medicine. Sometimes a patient may not provide a complete list of medications they take to their pain physician. Other medications can interfere with the way prescription pain medications work. Therefore, a complete pain management testing protocol includes other commonly used medications whose presence may interfere with a successful pain management plan.

A third focus of pain management testing involves looking for illicit or illegal medication. Illegal drug use may indicate addictive behavior and can exclude the patient from the pain management program. Illicit use of a prescription medication, or using a medication without proper physician oversight, may indicate addictive behavior, or at the very least non-compliance with the rules of a pain management program.

Because pain management testing evaluates a patient over time, multiple drug tests are required. Creatinine normalization (See more about the “creatinine normalization”) can eliminate urine concentration as a factor in fluctuating test results.