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False Positives Forum

This forum is intended to help those who Do NOT Abuse Drugs. We do NOT support the illegal use of any substance. If you have experience with false positives, share your experience. What would you tell someone about drug testing and false positives? Please remember that we do not give medical or legal advice.

I tested positive for benzo and opiates
Date: 12/28/2011
I recently started going to a methadone clinic. They do random UA's. Today I tested positive for benzo's and opiates. The pos lines were faint but there. I haven't taken any benzo's nor opiates other than the methadone given to me at the clinic. Less than a week ago I went to the local ER for a bad abscessed tooth and cellulitis in my cheek. I was given Rocephin with a numbing agent with it by injection. The Doc prescribed me Lomotil for diarrhea and penicillin for infection. Other than the penicillin can any of the other meds I was given cause a false positive in my UA? Thanks.

AskDocWeb: The Lomotil and Rocephin are not on the list however, the numbing agent that you received in the ER might be a possibility. That may or may not be worth checking into. If your clinic allows confirmation tests then that would identify exactly what was in your system.

Lorazepam not showing up on drug screen
Date: 12/28/2011
I take 1 mg of lorazepam 3 times daily. My doctor is saying it is NOT showing up on my drug screen or its showing that my levels are not as high as they should be. I take it faithfully. Please help.

AskDocWeb: We've heard of this happening before, and it's really sad that some Doctor's just "fired" someone from their practice without giving them the benefit of the doubt. A certain percentage of these drug screening tests that are faulty, and sometimes drinking too much liquid can prevent a medication from showing in a drug test. You might try calling your doctor and requesting a blood test, not a urine test, so that you can prove that you take your medications as directed all of the time. Hopefully he will give you a second chance. Take care.

Positive for alcohol with EtS and EtG test
Date: 12/29/2011
I recently tested positive for alcohol with an EtS and EtG test. I have not had a thing to drink in four months. I told them that but I heard the "we have heard that before" story. I again told them I had not had a drink in four months. I have been testing since October and this was my first positive. I started to thinking if had changed anything I use for personal care, such as cologne, hair supplies. I looked at my hair gel I recently started using and the third ingredient listed is alcohol. I have used it daily the last two weeks on my hair. Could this have caused a false positive?

AskDocWeb: Since alcohol can be absorbed through the skin you may want to avoid using those products that contain it. According to an advisory published at SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Division of Pharmacologic Therapies: "The Agency wants officials to know that the EtG test, for example, is fine for use in clinical settings. But it should not be used as a stand-alone test in a forensic situation where someone's job is at stake."

"...alcohol can be absorbed through the skin and metabolized to EtG and EtS (ethyl sulfate)"

"With tests highly sensitive to detecting EtG or EtS, that might mean that these tests are reported positive for other reasons, even though no alcohol was consumed. A positive EtG or other similar highly sensitive test alone may have nothing to do with relapse or inappropriate use of alcohol." Source: SAMHSA News

Valerian root pills for sleep
Date: 12/29/2011
I recently showed up on a job drug test positive for benzodiazapines, they asked if I took valium, etc. I do not take anything illegal, however, I do take valerian root pills for sleep, is it common or even possible for this to show poaitive for benzodiazapines?

AskDocWeb: We don't know how common it is but valerian root and its extract has shown up as benzodiazepine on urine drug tests.

Does soma break down into morphine?
Date: 12/31/2011
Hi there, I have been taking suboxone and soma, per MD order, for approx. 5 mon. The suboxone is taken regularly, and the soma is taken periodically at night when needed. After submitting a urinalysis, the results were negative for opiates, but, a quantitative result showed slightly positive for "hydromorphone." This did not make sense, I have not taken any other type of medication for months. An inquiry with one MD stated that soma breaks down into morphine; is this true? Why would quantitative have that result? I'm begining to think that the lab was dishonest with the results. I have good reason to think so, I'm not paranoid, Lol. NE way, what do you think?

AskDocWeb: The information we have says that Soma breaks down or metabolizes into Meprobomate, which is also a drug sold under the brand names Milltown, Miltown, Mb-Tab, and Trancot. Meprobomate is not the same thing as morphine although it does have the potential for abuse. It is not even in the same class of drugs. Your test result does not make sense to us either. What makes you think that the lab was dishonest?

Keep in mind that if you fail a drug screen and know you are clean, in most places you have a right to insist on a confirmation test. Unfortunately you may be required to pay for this out of pocket, which can cost up to $250 or more.

Special note about Soma: Effective January 11, 2012 Soma becomes a Schedule IV drug.

Positive for pcp?
Date: 12/31/2011
My probation switched to new cups and I have come up positive for PCP. I am on the following medication: abilify and lamictal. I have never touched PCP. I also take a lot of 5 hour energy. Can any of these show positive for pcp?

AskDocWeb: Neither Abilify nor Lamictal are known to show up as a false positive on urine tests for drugs of abuse. Several people have claimed to get a false positive after consuming a 5-hour energy drink but so far we have seen nothing to document that.

Problems with heartburn
Date: 12/31/2011
Hi. I recently had a run-in with my probation officer when I tested positive for meth after taking Zantac. I still have problems with heartburn, and I take Tums several times a day every day. My question is: Can I take Tagamet (cimetidine) for heartburn and not fail my drug test? I don't see Tagamet on the list. Thank you and Happy New Year.

AskDocWeb: Happey New Year Susan. Tagamet is not on the list but it is still suspect because another H2 blocker, Zantac has been known to sometimes show up as methamphetamine and/or amphetamine. At this time it is not clear if all H2 blockers have this potential or it is just limited to Zantac. Common H2 blockers include Tagamet (cimetidine), Pepcid (famotidine), Axid (nizatidine), and Zantac (ranitidine).

Hair follicle test
Date: 1/1/2012
I have an upcoming hair follicle test. I also recently (15 days ago) had two of my wisdom teeth extracted. During the operation I was injected several times with a local anesthetic. Following my surgery I received a prescription for Vicodin. Will either of these cause a positive result on my hair follicle test? Also do all hair follicle tests require the use of gc/ms?

AskDocWeb: Whether or not a confirmation test is required depends on the context, where you live and why the hair follicle test is being done. Let's go through those one at a time.

1. Different contexts have different rules and laws. Is the test for a federal job, an employment drug test, pre-employment drug test, etc.?

2. Each State in the USA has its own laws about drug testing. Check with your State Attorney General's Office or a local attorney for legal advice.

3. Getting a hair test may be voluntary or involuntary and different laws may apply. Is your test voluntary for employment or the result of an arrest by police, or ordered by a court of law as in probation, post accident investigation, or custody fight over children?

As we understand it, if your hair follicle test is part of a legal action then GC/MS confirmation is required in order for the results to be admissible as evidence.

Vicodin has been known to show up on urine tests as a false positive but we don't know if that is the case with hair tests or not. If it does show up as something then the GC/MS confirmation test would show negative for that.

Low readings of methodone use
Date: 1/4/2012
Can thyroid problems or taking synthroid cause low readings of methodone use. A friend is taking methodone and her level was low.

AskDocWeb: Thyroid problems are not one of the causes of false positives on urine drug tests.

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