Test Catalog

Test Id : BUPM

Buprenorphine and Norbuprenorphine, Random, Urine

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Monitoring of compliance utilizing buprenorphine


Detection and confirmation of the illicit use of buprenorphine


Detection of buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine in urine for compliance testing.

Method Name
A short description of the method used to perform the test

Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)

NY State Available
Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Reporting Name
Lists a shorter or abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test

Buprenorphine and Metabolite, U

Lists additional common names for a test, as an aid in searching




Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing


Ordering Guidance

For screening buprenorphine alone, order BUPS / Buprenorphine Screen, Random, Urine.


For comprehensive opioid screening, order TOSU / Targeted Opioid Screen, Random, Urine.


For situations where chain of custody is required, a Chain of Custody Kit (T282) is available. For chain-of-custody testing, order BUPMX / Buprenorphine and Norbuprenorphine, Chain of Custody, Random, Urine.


Additional drug panels and specific requests are available. Call 800-533-1710 or 507-266-5700.

Additional Testing Requirements

If urine creatinine is required or adulteration of the sample is suspected, the following test should also be ordered, ADULT / Adulterants Survey, Random, Urine.

Specimen Required
Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing

Supplies: Sarstedt Aliquot Tube, 5 mL (T914)

Collection Container/Tube: Plastic urine container

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic, 5-mL tube

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Collect a random urine specimen.

2. No preservative

Additional Information:

1. No specimen substitutions.

2. STAT requests are not accepted for this test.

3. Submitting <1 mL will compromise our ability to perform all necessary testing.


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Therapeutics Test Request (T831) with the specimen.

Specimen Minimum Volume
Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the Testing Laboratory

0.5 mL

Reject Due To
Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

Gross hemolysis OK
Gross icterus OK

Specimen Stability Information
Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Urine Refrigerated (preferred) 14 days
Ambient 14 days
Frozen 14 days

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Monitoring of compliance utilizing buprenorphine


Detection and confirmation of the illicit use of buprenorphine

Clinical Information
Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Clinically, buprenorphine is utilized as a substitution therapy for opioid dependence and as an analgesic. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist of the mu-opioid receptor. These mu binding sites are discretely distributed in the human brain, spinal cord, and other tissue. The clinical effects of mu receptor agonists are sedation, euphoria, respiratory depression, and analgesia. As a partial mu receptor agonist, buprenorphine's clinical effects are decreased, giving buprenorphine a wider safety margin.(1) Buprenorphine has a prolonged duration of activity. The combination of decreased clinical effects and prolonged activity gives buprenorphine the added advantage of a delayed and decreased withdrawal syndrome, compared to other opioids.(1) Compared to morphine, buprenorphine is 25 to 40 times more potent.(1) As with any opioid, abuse is always a concern. To reduce illicit use of buprenorphine, it is available mixed with naloxone in a ratio of 4:1. When the combination is taken as prescribed, only small amounts of naloxone will be absorbed. However, if the combination is transformed into the injectable form, naloxone then acts as an opioid receptor antagonist.


Buprenorphine is metabolized through N-dealkylation to norbuprenorphine through cytochrome P450 3A4. Both parent and metabolite then undergo glucuronidation. Norbuprenorphine is an active metabolite possessing one-fifth of the potency of its parent. The glucuronide metabolites are inactive.(1)


The primary clinical utility of quantification of buprenorphine in urine is to identify patients that have strayed from opioid dependence therapy.

Reference Values
Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.



Cutoff concentrations:

Buprenorphine: 5.0 ng/mL

Norbuprenorphine: 2.5 ng/mL

Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

The presence of buprenorphine above 5.0 ng/mL or norbuprenorphine above 2.5 ng/mL is a strong indicator that the patient has used buprenorphine.

Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Urine concentrations do not correlate well with serum drug levels and are not intended for therapeutic drug management.

Clinical Reference
Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Elkader A, Sproule B: Buprenorphine: clinical pharmacokinetics in the treatment of opioid dependence. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2005;44(7):661-680

2. Grimm D, Pauly E, Poschl J, Linderkamp O, Skopp G: Buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine concentrations in human breast milk samples determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Ther Drug Monit. 2005 Aug;27(4):526-530

3. Kacinko SL, Shakleya DM, Huestis MA: Validation and application of a method for the determination of buprenorphine, norbuprenorphine, and their glucuronide conjugates in human meconium. Anal Chem. 2008 Jan 1;80(1):246-252

4. Concheiro M, Shakleya DM, Huestis MA: Simultaneous quantification buprenorphine, norbuprenorphine, buprenorphine-glucuronide and norbuprenorphine-glucuronide in human umbilical cord by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Forensic Sci Int. 2009 Jul 1;188(1-3):144-151

5. Langman LJ, Bechtel LK, Meier BM, Holstege C: Clinical toxicology. In: Rifai N, Horvath AR, Wittwer CT, eds. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. 6th ed. Elsevier; 2018:832-887

6. Baselt RC: Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man. 10th ed. Biomedical Publications; 2014:2211

Method Description
Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

Buprenorphine and its major metabolite (norbuprenorphine) are liberated from conjugation by enzyme hydrolysis. Acetonitrile is added to the sample and an aliquot of the supernatant is diluted with water. Analysis is performed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry using multiple reaction monitoring.(Unpublished Mayo method)

PDF Report
Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information


Day(s) Performed
Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday through Friday

Report Available
The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

3 to 5 days

Specimen Retention Time
Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded

14 days

Performing Laboratory Location
Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test


Several factors determine the fee charged to perform a test. Contact your U.S. or International Regional Manager for information about establishing a fee schedule or to learn more about resources to optimize test selection.

  • Authorized users can sign in to Test Prices for detailed fee information.
  • Clients without access to Test Prices can contact Customer Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prospective clients should contact their account representative. For assistance, contact Customer Service.

Test Classification
Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR) product.

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information
Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Clinic Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.

CPT codes are provided by the performing laboratory.


G0480 (if appropriate)

LOINC® Information
Provides guidance in determining the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) values for the order and results codes of this test. LOINC values are provided by the performing laboratory.

Test Id Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
BUPM Buprenorphine and Metabolite, U 69033-9
Result Id Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
Applies only to results expressed in units of measure originally reported by the performing laboratory. These values do not apply to results that are converted to other units of measure.
66200 Buprenorphine 3415-7
48296 Norbuprenorphine 49753-7

Test Setup Resources

Setup Files
Test setup information contains test file definition details to support order and result interfacing between Mayo Clinic Laboratories and your Laboratory Information System.

Excel | Pdf

Sample Reports
Normal and Abnormal sample reports are provided as references for report appearance.

Normal Reports | Abnormal Reports

SI Sample Reports
International System (SI) of Unit reports are provided for a limited number of tests. These reports are intended for international account use and are only available through MayoLINK accounts that have been defined to receive them.

SI Normal Reports | SI Abnormal Reports

Test Update Resources

Change Type Effective Date
Test Changes - Specimen Information 2021-10-25