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Old 09-04-2015, 08:50 PM
52 posts, read 66,251 times
Reputation: 24


Hello all! I have a pre-employment physical coming up next week for a school teacher's aide position. I am Bipolar, and take the following drugs: Lithium, Lamictal, Cymbalta, and Clanazopam. I know that Clanazopam is a benzo, and will probably show up on the drug test. From what I understand, this is a physical combined with the drug test there. How do I handle this? Do I list all of my drugs when I fill out the physical form before I see the doctor? Should I bring all pill bottles with me? Or, should I just wait, and if I fail, I would assume the medical reviewer will call me and I can give them the prescription number.

I'm hoping that this won't be a problem as I will be working with students, and would like to go back to school to be a teacher.

I would appreciate some feedback on how to handle this.
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:39 AM
Location: God's Country
5,185 posts, read 3,860,446 times
Reputation: 8689
Why wouldn't you advise the examiner of all your legally-prescribed meds? Are you concerned that the bipolar would eliminate you from consideration and therefore you plan not to include it in your medical history?
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:50 AM
Location: san diego
492 posts, read 336,452 times
Reputation: 905
I have had to take several pre-employment drug tests in the past, and I take a medication that is a benzodiazepine as well. Most of the time it doesn't show up. But this is how I would handle the situation: if there is a space on the form for you to list medications, certainly list them, and any conditions that you have. Usually the potential employer does not have access to the actual information on the form. They get a report that states whether you are "fit for duty" or not. That's it.

Take the drug test and wait for the results. In the meantime you may want to get a note from your psychiatrist (or whoever prescribes your meds) stating that these are the meds you take, you've been stable on them, if they have any questions to contact the doctor. No need to go into detail.

If the test comes back positive, the medical reviewer will contact you. At that point you can offer the letter from your doctor, or the reviewer may just want to check the validity of your prescription.

In my experience, you don't need to divulge too much up front. Don't hide anything, but don't overexplain. Many people have mental health issues and if you're taking medications for yours, it shows that you're being proactive about your health.
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:01 PM
52 posts, read 66,251 times
Reputation: 24
Thanks all! I don't mind listing my meds, and was going to do so, but I wasn't sure if having bipolar disorder would disqualify me as the employer may see me as a liability.

I think I am just over thinking it, but I worry. If the drug test comes back positive, I would think I could just give my prescription RX number, or the phone number of the doctor to confirm my meds.
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