By Edmund Murphy

Last updated: 18 March 2024 & medically reviewed by Dr. Jenni Jacobsen

9-panel drug tests detect the same drug metabolites as 8-panel tests with the addition of propoxyphene, an opioid painkiller.

What is a 9-panel drug test?

A 9-panel drug test is an expanded drug screen panel that includes an additional opioid pain reliever, propoxyphene. 

9-panel drug tests are less frequently used than 8 or 10-panel tests and is often only used for the precise detection of propoxyphene or if it is an organization's preferred method of testing

How is a 9-panel drug test collected?

The 9-panel drug test can be conducted using a urine or hair follicle sample. Blood and saliva testing are also possible though rarely used. Read here for more information on the types of drug tests.

What drugs does a 9-panel test detect?

When is a 9-panel drug test used?

A 9-panel drug test is most frequently used by employers to test for drug use in employees and prospective candidates. Scenarios employers may use a 9-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.

9-panel drug tests are rarely used in other areas like sports or legal testing but may be used in medical settings.  Read here to learn more about the drug test process.