Does Ultram Show Up On Drug Tests?

Article Submitted on behalf of

Ultram, which is the common name for the drug “Tramadol” is not under the opiate family. It is often prescribed for patients experiencing moderate to severe pain. Unfortunately, Ultram can be addictive. Some people use it even when they don’t need the medication as part of their treatment.

So, will Ultram show up on a drug test? Yes and no. The question is, what type of drug test?

Opiates Drug Screening & Ultram

Since Ultram is not an opiate, it won’t show up on a standard drug test, for example, one organised by a new employer. However, it will show up on a toxicology screening specially designed for detecting prescription drugs.

It is important to note that Ultram is a synthetic drug with a chemical structure not different from an opiate. It is an “opioid” not an “opiate”. Because Ultram is synthesized with chemical compounds, and does not contain extracts from opium plants, your body system will absorb it differently from typical opioid drugs obtained straight from the poppy plants.

Simply put, your system will not metabolize Ultram the same way it would with the derivatives of morphine. And for this reason, Ultram won’t show up on a urine drug test.

Why Drug-Test For Ultram?

There are different reasons why you may need to be tested for Ultram. They include:


One of the dangers of Ultram include serious side-effects, drug interactions or an overdose. For example, a doctor will usually request a test if you are admitted for a drug overdose and they want to know which drugs are responsible.


A court may order an Ultram test if you are accused of using it without authorised prescription. In other words, testing positive for Ultram without a doctor’s prescription can get you in trouble with the law.

Types Of Ultram Drug Test

A blood test can identify the presence of Tramadol (or not) in your system. But the test will not indicate the level of the drug. The result will only come out as either positive or negative. Tramadol can also be detected by special urine or hair tests. However, there has to be a strong reason to suspect the presence of Ultram before a test can be ordered.

Ultram Cut-Off Levels

In hair tests, Ultram can be detected at low levels- especially from small doses that would normally be prescribed by a doctor. In a study, a concentration as low as 0.176 ng/mg was enough to turn up in a test. Anecdotal evidence has proven that urine tests are not as reliable, since Ultram leaves the body quickly.

Other Synthetic Opioids Like Ultram

Employers normally perform the 5 panel drug tests where they check for morphine derivatives. Tramadol, Ultram, Percocet or Oxycodone are opioids produced synthetically and will therefore not turn up positive in a urine test.

Surely there are special tests for detecting these substances in your system, but standard drug tests will not register the presence of these opioids in your body. This is because 5 panel drug tests have been designed to recognise only alkaloids of the opium poppy present in the urine sample.

Article Submitted on behalf of

Leave a Comment