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Paediatric Laboratory Medicine

Benzodiazepine Screen, Serum or Plasma (B)

Clinical Significance

Benzodiazepines are a large group of structurally similar sedative-hypnotic drugs which are subject to abuse. Therapeutic serum concentrations and toxic levels are different for each benzodiazepine. Screening assays such as this are used to establish the presence or absence of the drug class based on a pre-determined threshold value. Alternative methods must be employed to determine the identity and concentration of any benzodiazepine from a positive screening result. Originally introduced in the 1960's, benzodiazepines are used for a variety of situations including: seizure control, anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, insomnia, muscle relaxants and pre-anesthetic agents. Toxicity symptoms include: dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, unresponsiveness, anxiety, slurred speech, coma, altered mental status, amnesia and respiratory depression.

Test Name

Benzodiazepine Screen, Serum or Plasma (B)

Alternate Name/ Synonym

Valium, Lorazepam, Oxazepam, etc.

Test Code

FBNZB

Drug Class

Psychotropic Drugs

Division

Toxicology

Method

LC-MS/MS

External Proficiency Testing

CAP

Turn Around Time

Daily, Stat

Specimen Type

Serum, Plasma (Heparin, Citrate or EDTA)

Minimum Specimen Requirements

500 uL

Storage/Transportation

4°C (transport with a cool pack if possible)

Approval is not required

CPT Codes

83788

Shipping and Contact Information

The Hospital for Sick Children
Rapid Response Laboratory
170 Elizabeth Street, Room 3642
Toronto, ON
M5G 2G3
Canada
Phone: 416-813-7200
Phone: 1-855-381-3212

Therapeutic Range

Not detected

Critical Values

Not Detected: < 25 ug/L 

Positive: > 25 ug/L