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What Is a 10-Panel Drug Screen Test?

author image Leigh A. Zaykoski
Leigh Zaykoski has been a writer and editor for six years. Her medical writing has appeared on dozens of websites. Zaykoski attended the University of Pittsburgh and Keystone College, studying microbiology and business administration. She is currently pursuing a medical writing certification.
What Is a 10-Panel Drug Screen Test?
The 10-panel drug screen tests for cocaine and as other substances. Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

The 10-panel drug screen test is a drug test method that screens for 10 drugs. This type of test can detect several illegal drugs as well as high levels of prescription drugs that have the potential for abuse. The test procedure is relatively simple and provides results in three to eight minutes, making it a valuable tool for occupational medicine facilities and law enforcement officials.

Test Procedure

According to Craig Medical Distribution, the manufacturer of a popular 10-panel drug screen test, the test pouch should not be opened until just before urine is collected for the test. Fresh urine is collected in a clear container and the test wicks are then dipped into the urine sample. The wicks should remain in the sample for 20 to 30 seconds, but other parts of the device should not come into contact with the urine.

Reading the Test

After three to eight minutes, the results of the test are read. Each test has a control region and a test region. Every control region should contain a dark line after the test has been completed. If the test area under each drug has a dark line, the test is considered negative. If no dark line appears in the test region of any of the drugs listed, it is considered a positive result. Tests should not be read after eight minutes. If any of the control regions are empty, the test is invalid and a new test should be completed.


The 10-panel drug screen tests for the illegal drugs cocaine, angel dust, heroin and marijuana. Some prescription drugs have the potential to become addictive, so the 10-panel drug test also screens for several legal drugs that are also known to be drugs of abuse. The test screens for tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, opiates, methadone, barbiturates and methamphetamine.


The 10-panel drug screen has applications in the fields of occupational medicine and law enforcement. It may be used to determine if an employee was under the influence of drugs at the time of a workplace accident or injury. Employers may also use this test to screen potential employees for drug use. Law enforcement officials may use this test to monitor offenders who are on probation or enrolled in work release programs. If a positive test result occurs, an offender may be put in jail on a probation violation.

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