Does Seroquel show up on a drug test? 

Does Seroquel show up on a drug test? 

Seroquel (Quetiapine) may or may not show up on a drug test. However, Seroquel is known for causing false-positive results for Opioids and Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) (1). 

It does not show up as the drug itself as the primary method of analysis does not detect the specific chemical. However, if you are going for highly sensitive testing procedures, it can show up as it is. 

Why does Seroquel cause false positives for Opioids and TCAs?

Seroquel may cause false-positive because the primary way of drug testing is urine immunoassay, which is not the most accurate method for this purpose. 

This method contains antibodies which bind to the specific drug and detects its presence. Now, this method can cause false positives because the antibodies may mistakenly bind with the drug, through a process called cross-reactivity. This gives off a false positive result. 

How long does Seroquel last in your system?

Seroquel has a half-life of about 7-8 hours, after which the initial concentration of the drug reduces to half. The high concentrations of the drug can remain in your body for almost 12 hours. 

However, if we talk about the time taken by Seroquel to leave your system completely, it could take up to 24-48 hours. Generally, Seroquel is not a controlled substance or a narcotic, and it is not something standard drug tests are focused on. 

Is there a way to avoid getting a false positive on Seroquel?

Urine immunoassays do not guarantee accurate results and there is no way to prevent that when opting for this method of drug testing. However, make sure you do not stop your medication abruptly just to avoid a false positive.

Antipsychotics like Seroquel need to be tapered off for safe withdrawal. Immediate-release Seroquel can be cut in half to take half of the dose while you’re gradually tapering off. However, never change your Seroquel dose on your own.

Furthermore, sensitive drug testing methods like chromatography and mass spectroscopy can deliver more accurate results and will most likely not cause any sort of false-positive results (2). 

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Alyson Schwebach, Jennifer Ball. Urine Drug Screening: Minimizing False Positives and False Negatives to Optimize Patient Care. US Pharm. 2013;38(12):1-6. Available at:


Ramoo B, Funke M, Frazee C, Garg U. Comprehensive Urine Drug Screen by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1383:125-31. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3252-8_15. PMID: 26660182. Available from: