Do Poppers Show Up In Drug Tests

People need to take drug tests for various reasons in their lives and careers, usually for completely harmless reasons. Even if you’re not doing anything illegal, it can still be nerve wracking to worry if anything you’ve done or innocently taken could trigger a false positive. 

So, do poppers show up in drug tests? The short answer is no, when it comes to employment or sports related drug testing, poppers will not show up as a positive. Let’s dive a bit more into why this is and if there’s any alternatives that may show up for poppers to put your mind at ease.

Standard 5-panel drug screens and poppers 

When employers set out their intention of doing a drug test, the standard test used is what we call a 5-panel drug test. Simply put, the test looks for any substances that remain in the body for a short while after someone metabolizes the drugs that are being tested for. 

It’s standard practice for this test to be carried out on a urine sample, but in some cases you may also see blood, spit and even individual hair follicles used in its place occasionally. 

The 5-panel drug screens will normally search for metabolites of the following five drug categories: 

  • Cocaine
  • Opioids
  • Marijuana
  • Phencyclidine
  • Amphetamines 

As you might have noticed, Amyl Nitrite and other popper formulas aren’t included in that list. If that wasn’t enough, poppers are chemically nothing like the above five substances. Because of that, there’s no risk of a false positive showing up on your drug tests. 

What do the test providers say? 

We wanted to make sure we were 100% solid on this, so we set off to do some of our own research. We contacted three of the top providers of employment drug testing here in the UK to probe them a bit more and find out what they had to say. For the curious, these companies were: ‘The Crystal Health Group’, ‘UK Drug Testing’ and ‘Express Medicals Work Health Services’.

Their respective websites provided the standard 5-panel drugs mentioned above, and even went above that to provide more extensive 10-panel screens. As far as we could see there was no mention of poppers or Amyl Nitrite testing on any of their products - so we reached out to ask them about exactly that. 

What we heard back were all variations of the email you can see below from UK Drug Testing. A confirmation that none of their products would test for Amyl Nitrite or poppers as a whole, and then some vague attempt at trying to sell us some alternative product regardless. 

Are there any other ways to detect poppers?

The above confirmed this for us. Currently there are no commercially available drug tests that will detect if poppers end up in a person’s system. That’s not necessarily to say they couldn’t be made in the future. While poppers do have a short half-life, traces can still show up in urine and blood for a couple of days after the fact. But as it stands, the answer is still no. 

Are poppers actually legal? 

Part of the reason why poppers don’t show up on drug tests is simply for the fact that they aren’t illegal in most of the western world. When you break things down on a country-by-country basis, you may find that certain formulas are preferred to others and that the odd country has a ban in place, but that’s about it. You can read more on this, along with a breakdown of a specific country’s circumstance in our Are Poppers Legal page.


Hopefully this guide has put your anxious mind at ease and given you a bit more context at the tests being taken. By the drug test provider's own admission, you can rest assured that poppers will not show up on a drug test.


More Reading

Drug tests can be nerve racking even if you’ve done nothing wrong. So, we did some investigating to find out: do poppers show up in drug tests?
Maybe you’re new to poppers, maybe you’re a regular user. Based on where you are in the world, there’s a few ways to answer this question, so let's dig in.