What is a 10 -Panel Drug Test?


Most employers these days want to ensure that their working environment remains safe and productive and no employee is addicted to any drug or any other substance.  In some professions, it is mandatory that employees must not use any of the illicit drugs.

A 10 panel drug test is one of the very common ways to detect the presence of different types of drugs in the body of a person. Typically, in this test, the person’s urine is tested to detect the presence of certain drugs. This is considered to be a simple test to confirm the presence of a drug with great accuracy.

What is a 10-panel drug test?

In this type of drug screening test, it is possible to detect the presence of 10 different types of illegal drugs that are commonly abused by people. This test is often performed for the following reasons:

  • A pre-employment drug screening
  • A periodic employee testing
  • Following a certain workplace incident.

What can show up on this 10-panel drug test?

A 10-panel drug test can detect drug metabolites in a certain specimen, which are chemicals that may often remain in our body after metabolizing a substance. The following types of drugs can be detected through 10-panel drug test:

  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Propoxyphene

This test is conducted by taking a sample of urine. Hence, it is also called urinalysis, which is the most common way to collect the sample. However, a 10-panel drug screen can be administered even by using. 

  • Blood
  • Hair
  • Saliva
  • Sweat.

Irrespective of sample type, the 10-panel drug test results are reported as any one of the following:

  • A negative result indicates that the substance was not found, which may be due to 
  • The test cutoff concentration was too low
  • A positive result occurred, but the applicant was prescribed the medication.
  • Positive, denoting that the candidate does not have a prescription that matches or that the result was positive at or over the test threshold concentration.
  • There are various ways that inconclusive results can appear. The urine sample could, for example, be altered, substituted, or have an unusual PH. Employers could want to request that the applicant retake an ambiguous examination.


As such, 10-panel drug test is not one of the most common drug tests that are performed. For example, most employers who want to screen their prospective employees may be required to conduct either a 4- panel or 5-panel drug test. Together with that, an alcohol test can also be performed.

There are a few professions where drug tests are mandatory, as these professions may deal with personal and public safety. In such a profession, it will be better to undergo regular 10-panel drug tests.

Drug tests with 10-panels have the ability to detect ten drugs within their own detection window. Each drug has a different detection time, and personal aspects like metabolism vary as well.

To eliminate false positives and validate their diagnosis, labs may recheck positive drug results. Results that are not clear-cut can indicate that the test needs to be repeated.

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