By Edmund Murphy

Last updated: 24 April 2023 & medically reviewed by Dr. Jenni Jacobsen

A 10-panel drug test is another common method of drug testing used in multiple settings to screen for drug abuse. The 10-panel test screens for the same drugs as a 5-panel test as well as five more to give a more rigorous drug screening.

When is a 10-panel drug test used?

A 10-panel drug test is most frequently used by employers to test for drug use in employees and prospective candidates. Scenarios where employers may use a 10-panel drug test include:[1]

  • Pre-employment: Some employers will ask prospective applicants to test for drug abuse, often after a provisional offer of employment has been given.

  • Suspicion of drug use: Employers may ask employees to take a drug test if they show symptoms of drug abuse.

  • Post-accident: A drug test may be required after a workplace accident to determine whether substances were involved, though it cannot definitively prove it.

  • Random/Periodic screening: Some employers will use random or scheduled drug tests to monitor drug use. This will often be clearly outlined in their drug policy guidance.

  • Return-to-work: An employer may ask for a drug test to be performed after an extended absence from work, especially if the employee has been away for drug abuse treatment.

There are other situations that a 10-panel drug test may be used for, which may include:[2]

  • Medical screening: Your doctor may order a 10-panel drug test as part of your care.

  • Legal or forensic information: You may be required to take a drug test if you’ve been arrested or are part of a surveillance program.

  • Sports/athletics testing: Some athletic competitions require drug testing prior to competing.

  • Monitoring pain medication use: A 10-panel drug test can be used to monitor your treatment and the level of any medications in your system.

  • A medical professional can help you determine when a 10-panel drug test is the right testing option for you.

What does a 10-panel drug test screen for?

A 10-panel drug test sample, most commonly urine, will screen for the following 10 substances:

How can I get a 10-panel drug test?

Urinalysis 10-panel drug tests can be ordered to your home and come with detailed instructions about how to perform the test, store it, and how to return it for full testing. 10-panel urine tests can be ordered through your doctor or through online retailers.[1]

For other samples, such as blood tests, the person performing the test may need to visit a lab to have the sample collected by a medical expert. This will often be organized by the person asking for the test to be performed. Read here to find out more about how a drug test is taken.

Can I take the test at home?

Yes, 10-panel drug tests are regularly available for home ordering and from some retailers and medical service providers. At-home drug tests are urine tests that use a dipstick similar to an at-home pregnancy test that can detect accurately for illicit substances. 

While at-home 10-panel tests are reliable for detecting above the cut-off presence of substances in the system, they are not 100% verifiable. For the most accurate results, it is best to have drug tests performed by professionals in a lab or to send at-home tests away for further analysis.

Related: Types of drug tests