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Tylenol #3 with codeine
fhernandez08 posted:
My husband fractured his arm and was perscribed Tylenol #3 with codeine. He is on probation and told them what he was taking. Then they drug tested him and the results came back with codeine and total morphine. Is that what it should show up as, because they tried to tell us he was doing heroin when he was just on this medication?
Betty Ford Center
Harry L Haroutunian, MD responded:
I understand that you and your husband are faced with a difficult dilemma.

The fact of the matter is that codeine - or any medication in usage in a monitored individual - should be approved prior to obtaining and of course, using a prescription. Nonetheless, codeine is metabolized in our bodies to morphine, so the presence of morphine in the urine can indicate exposure to codeine, morphine itself or heroin.

There may be ways to further test the sample, which should have been saved if it was positive by the testing laboratory. Further testing may be able to prove that codeine - and only codeine was taken - but the presence of morphine in the urine, after taking codeine is usual and predictable.

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