Question: I am starting a new job soon which requires drug testing. Can antidepressants show up on a drug test?
Answer: You didn't indicate in your question why you are concerned about this; but, if you are worried about your employer knowing that you are in treatment for depression, then you don't need to be. A lab would have to be specifically looking for antidepressants in order to detect them. And, since antidepressants are not considered to be drugs of abuse, there is simply no reason that your employer would be looking for them. However, it is possible that your antidepressant might show up as a false positive for a controlled substance, which would certainly be a problem for you.
In an August 2006 report in The Journal of Family Practice, Srinivas B. Rapuri and colleagues noted that several antidepressants can yield false positive results on drug tests. Bupropion (Wellbutrin), fluoxetine (Prozac), trazodone (Desyrel) and nefazodone can potentially show up as amphetamines. In addition, sertraline (Zoloft) may show up as a benzodiazepine.
Drug tests are sometimes wrong, basically because they are very sensitive, detecting small amounts of chemical substances, but not very specific. If a drug has a chemical structure that is very similar to the one being tested for, the test isn't able to differentiate the "good" drug from the "bad" one.
If you are concerned that your antidepressant might show up as a false positive, your best course of action is to be proactive. Bring your prescription bottle with you to the testing so that the tester can make a notation in his records, just in case there are any questions later.