Urine Continine Test

What is this test?

Cotinine random urine test is used to detect the presence or absence of cotinine in your urine.

What is Cotinine?

containing products or not. This test helps in evaluating acute nicotine poisoning. In this cotinine random urine test, urine is collected randomly at any time of the day.

Nicotine is metabolized in the liver. The liver breaks down nicotine into cotinine. Cotinine is a type of chemical your body produces after getting exposed to nicotine. Usually, cotinine test is preferred to nicotine test because nicotine disappears from the system rapidly within a few hours, but cotinine lasts more than a day or more. Cotinine has a half-life of 7 to 40 hours whereas nicotine’s half-life is 1-4 hours. Nicotine is a chemical derived from plants like tobacco. Nicotine is found especially in the leaves of this plant. Nicotine is a stimulating as well as a sedating agent. It is known for its euphoric effects. But it also has many pharmacologic actions like, when your body gets exposed to nicotine, adrenal gland gets stimulated and releases adrenaline. The adrenaline stimulates the body and release glucose and also increases the blood pressure, breathing activity and heart rate. It also leads to less insulin production by pancreas thus affecting blood glucose or blood sugar levels in the body. In a way, nicotine leads to release of dopamine in the motivation and pleasure areas of the brain. Thus the user experiences pleasurable sensation. Increase in the exposure of nicotine causes an increase in the oxygen consumption rate by heart muscle, rapid heart rate which may lead to heart attack. Tobacco, when chewed or snorted, releases more nicotine than smoking.

Long-term usage of tobacco products may lead to conditions like oral cancer (cheeks, gums, lips), lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), respiratory problems, heart diseases, stroke, and smoking worsens asthma condition. Smoking during pregnancy may lead to impaired growth of the fetus or low birth weight.

Nicotine metabolites can be accumulated in case of passive exposure to tobacco smoke. 20 ng/ml of urine cotinine has been observed in passive exposure.

Why this test is performed?

This test is usually performed to confirm the usage of tobacco or nicotine or secondhand smoke. This test is also done in case of nicotine overdose. Sometimes this test may be recommended to an individual who applies for a new job, mostly in federal, state and some private agencies are asked to undergo this test, to make sure if you are trustworthy of some important information and the overall health and safety. During child custody purposes also this test may be preferred. If you experience nicotine overdose symptoms like drooling, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting and serious symptoms of nicotine poisoning such as excitement, difficulty in breathing, abdominal cramps, restlessness, confusion, seizures, muscular twitching, fainting, coma, etc this test is recommended.


Some pesticides contain very high concentrations of nicotine. This can be the main source of nicotine poisoning. Nicotine itself is a pesticide used as an alternative to pyrethrinoid and organophosphate derivatives. Hence inform your doctor or technician about all your current medications and medical conditions prior to the test.

Also known as Cotinine Urine Test.