Opioid Confusion? Semi-synthetic versus Synthetic

Hydrocodone, heroine, oxycodone, and fentanyl are all opioids. So, why are their test panels different? Considering opioids are classified as one of the most commonly used and abused drugs, being informed about types is important.

Testing for opioids can seem daunting, but if you separate them into semi-synthetic and fully synthetic, you will be able to identify which opioid panels can screen for the different types of opioids. Synthetic drugs are chemical compounds produced in a laboratory, and semi-synthetic drugs are created through the chemical reaction of a naturally occurring drug to form a new drug.  Using the proper panels for the sensitivity of the opioid can reduce improper screening. 


Many opioids, including heroin, are classified as semi-synthetic and can be tested under the general opiate panels: OPI 2000 (opiates) or MOP (morphine). Morphine, codeine, and heroin can be tested under these panels, and it’s better to test for hydrocodone under the MOP panel.  

However, some opioids are more synthetic than others. An example of this is oxycodone. It is best to use an OXY (oxycodone) panel to screen for oxycodone since it is much more sensitive to pick up the metabolites than an OPI 2000 or MOP drug panel.


Other panels we sell like FTY (fentanyl) and TRA are synthetic opioids. In order to screen for those drugs, recommend that the user test using those panels that correspond to the drug in question.

Fentanyl is a fully synthetic opioid, originally developed as a powerful anesthetic for surgery. It is also administered to alleviate severe pain associated with terminal illnesses like cancer. The drug is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Just a small dose can be deadly. Illicitly produced fentanyl has been a driving factor in the number of overdose deaths in recent years.

TRA is also synthetic, though it acts like codeine in the body.  Both TRA and codeine are less potent than other opiates, which means their potential for addiction and withdrawal are lower.

Fentanyl and TRA are considered specialty panels that are not usually tested for in a multi-panel kit. We sell them as single panels, whereas OXY and MOP/OPI can be purchased as a single panel or in a multiple panel drug testing kit.

To learn more about our drug testing panels and how they relate to your needs, please contact our customer service. Reach us by LiveChat, e-mail us at service@healthcare-manager.com or call toll-free at 1-855-822-6999.





Drug Abuse, drug addiction, Drug screening, Opiate Epidemic, Opiates, Painkillers, Urine Test