Feedback on False Positives from Drug Testing, page 107

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.

Subj: False positive for THC
Date: 11/15/2010
I had a drug test for jobs before and never failed but this time I went in to get a job and had my testing and it came back false positive for THC which I do NOT smoke. Though a week before my test I was on my period and I have the worse cramps that sometimes I take a few to many ibuprofen along with pamprin, advil and tylonol, and I also like to get my vitman B’s which is in alot of drinks I drink. Now my question is what do I do to get this job cause I do not smoke and they will not allow me to apply EVER again if I fail again, I have it now sent to a lab to find out what caused it, can they really find out what it was??? ….Also like to add I have been around smokers my family and friends all do it and I have tried it a few times and I cant breathe so I dont do it, will that show up as well? please help thank you.


AskDocWeb: There are several references that say advil, pamprin, and ibuprofen have all caused false positives for THC. Sending your sample to an outside lab for confirmation will eliminate those drugs as false positives. However, breathing secondhand marijuana smoke is likely to show up on a drug test and if it does, that outside lab will confirm it.

Subj: Tested positive for THC
Date: 11/16/2010
I go to a pain management clinic. I have broke my Tibula, fibula and femor in two places. I have serious disc problems in may lumbar. I know the rules NO illegal drugs. I have been going threw this 2005. I take many medications. starting with. Campral, lunesta, adivan, lamectal, zoloft, neurotin, endocet, with acetaminophen, melatonin, pot chloride, acyclovir, acetaminphen vitamin, muti vitamin, tylenol cold, with acetaminphen, i just tested positive for THC with a ua THC. I DO NOT SMOKE! They are sending it to a lab to confirm whether it is positive or a false positive. I am scared they will throw me out of the program. Can any of the drugs i take make me test positive? Please help, I am going to take a test from he pharmacy. I go back on the 24th. thank you.


AskDocWeb: None of what you list has been reported to cause a false positive for THC. If your UA test result was a false positive, the confirmation test will show that, which is why they do the confirmation test. It rules out any false positives.

Subj: Positive for THC?
Date: 11/16/2010
Is it possible to come out positive for THC if taking ibuprofen?


AskDocWeb: Yes, several sources say that Ibuprofen may show up as a false positive for Marijuana (THC) (References 1, 3, 16, 18, and 29).

Subj: Claritin-D?
Date: 11/17/2010
does claritan-d show up positive on a urine drug screen and if so, does the mc-gs test vindicate you of not taking amphetamines?


AskDocWeb: Claritin-D has not been reported to cause false positives on urine drug screens.

Subj: Paregoric
Date: 11/17/2010
Can paregoric show up as morphine on a urinalisys


AskDocWeb: Yes, according to a toxicology lab technical brief from Dr. Joseph Graas, Paregoric contains morphine.

Subj: Nasal sprays
Date: 11/17/2010
can tobramycin, any saline nasal spray or neo/poly/dexamet cause a false positive for cocaine in infants?


AskDocWeb: Some nasal sprays have been reported to cause a false positive for amphetamines or morphine but not for cocaine.

Subj: False positive for suboxone?
Date: 11/17/2010
can anything cause a false positive for suboxone? I took a drug test and it came back positive and i’ve never taken that….please help


AskDocWeb: There is a single strip urine drug test now for suboxone but that is a separate test from the standard urine drug screen, which doesn’t test for suboxone. The test for suboxone is 96% accurate, which means that 4 results out of every 100 are false. So far we have been unable to find out what causes those false results.

Subj: I was shocked
Date: 11/18/2010
I recently tested posted for cocaine in a pre-employment hair drug test. I was shocked because I have never even seen cocaine in real life! Of course, I didn’t get the job, but is there any legal action I can take? 8 months ago I got a tattoo where the tattoo artist used topical anesthetic, which I thought could be the source, but can the test really go back 8 months? I was told it was 90 days? Is there any way I can rectify this situation?


AskDocWeb: How far a hair test “can” go back depends on the length of the hair but they seem to be standardizing at 90 days. For legal advice you may need the help of an attorney. Many of them specialize in personal injury, criminal law, DUI, medical malpractice, etc., but one that specializes in employment law may be your best bet so shop around.

Subj: Negative dilute?
Date: 11/18/2010
Can taking Metformin Extended release cause a pre employment drug screen to come back a negative dilute?


AskDocWeb: Diluted usually means the person being tested may have used a mask. The test sample was too diluted to render a conclusive test. The results of the drug test come up diluted when a detox or a mask is used. Drinking a lot of water before the test could also cause that result. Getting a diluted result makes it appear that you may have used a mask to cover something up. And that looks bad to a company who does not know what you may be hiding, pot, heroin, crack or something else. You may or may not be allowed another test, but if you do test again, you may have to pay out of pocket for it.

Subj: Positive for heroin
Date: 11/19/2010
My step daughter tested positive for heroin. She is only 14, I believe that she hasn’t used. Is there anything that could cause her to test positive for heroin? Her mother claims that she gave her a Tylenol 3 the day of her drug test. Would that have any effect on her?


AskDocWeb: There are a couple of dozen possible causes of a false positive for heroin on urine tests. It is important to find out if it is a false positive or not and that means getting a confirmation test to find out.

Subj: Mood stabilizers?
Date: 11/18/2010
Hello, I am currently taking tegretol and lamictal as mood stabilzers…do either of these medications cause false positive on drug screens? Thanks!


AskDocWeb: (answer revised 6/30/2011) Tegretol hasn’t been reported to cause a false positive on urine drug tests. However, lamictal may show up as PCP.

Subj: Restoril?
Date: 11/19/2010
I’m taking ms contin, endocet, soma, zantac, phenergan, lisinopril, and goodys headache relief. I’m testing positive for restoril and I need to know why can anything else make me test positive for this? please help me.


AskDocWeb: Sorry David, the standard urine drug tests do not test specifically for Restoril. However, Restoril (temazepam) is a benzodiazepine used to treat insomnia. So if your test result came back positive for benzodiazepines, how do you know the result was for Restoril?

Subj: THC positive on a drug test
Date: 11/19/2010
I have a problem. I was just phoned I’ve come up THC positive on a drug test but I haven’t been using! I’ve been around it due to my school work in the studio but I don’t believe that is what was pulled up. I’m on welbutrin, propanolol, clonozepam, fluticasone nasal spray, codeine cough syrup, and getting off of lexapro. Can all this generate a false positive for THC? Could the flip flop around done it? I’ve also been taking 800mgs of IBprofen and then went to Midol when gotten on my period. HELP please thanks.


AskDocWeb: Not sure what you mean by “flip flop” but none of what you list has been reported to cause a false positive for THC. That just leaves second hand marijuana smoke. If you can smell it then you are inhaling it, which may show up later on a drug test.

Subj: Tested positive for Morphine
Date: 11/20/2010
I go to a pain clinic once a month for treatment of chronic pain. I had to reschedule one of my appointments due to a severe migraine and went 2 weeks later. They were collecting urine specimens for drug testing which I didn’t think twice about because I take only what is prescribed to me, in the prescribed amounts, as well as some OTC’s which I always list specifically in my med history. Since I was 2 weeks late, I had run out of Oxycontin and had not taken it for 2 weeks (not a big deal for me because it didn’t work at all to relieve my pain.) I did report that I had been taking it about 2 weeks before and also reported all my prescribed meds which are: lisinopril, verapamil, B-12 injections, armour thyroid, ranitidine, nexium, Tricor, and Ambien CR. I also reported that in the past week I had taken 1 or 2 sudafeds as well as benedryl for allergy/sinus headache.

I was floored when the PA told me that I had tested positive for morphine! I have never, to my knowledge, taken morphine (last hospital visit was 2 years previous and I have no idea what they gave me in the ER.) On the day of my previously scheduled appointment (2 weeks prior) I took Imitrex for my migraine. The PA seemed quite casual about the whole thing and showed me some kind of report (I didn’t see my name on it, but I wasn’t looking, for it) that said Positive: Morphine. After I told her I had no idea how I could have tested positive for Morphine she asked if I might have taken anyone elses meds and again, the answer was (and continues to be) NO.

I have been disabled since 1984 and completely disabled since 1993. I rarely leave home except to go to doctors’ appointments and an occasional trip to WalMart or the local restaurant for Friday night dinner (both rare.) I don’t come in contact with anyone other than my husband who takes no meds of any kind other than an occasional aspririn or aleve. I’m allergic to those so I would never take them. The point is, I am absolutely positive I have never taken morphine and even though the PA seemed completely unphased by the positive result (she immediately handed me a prescription for Ultram with 3 refills allowed) I am uncomfortable about a positive result for something I know I have not taken. I showed her my list of meds and asked if any of them could have caused a false positive and she said no. If I test positive again, they will not treat me any longer and I am hopeful that nerve root injections may alleviate some of my pain, but if they won’t treat me…?

I feel that something was wrong about the whole scene and believe that something is wrong. They seemed quite casual about the way the specimens were handled and I’m leery about her casual manner in presenting positive results (that I found very distressing.) Could oxycontin discontinued 2 weeks prior, or Imitrex taken 2 weeks prior cause a false positive? Or do I need to demand to know the nature of the test and ask for an independent test the next time they ask?


AskDocWeb: Oxycontin has an elimination half-life of just 4.5 hours so it is not going to show up after 2 weeks. Imitrex has an even shorter half-life, 2.5 hours. Do you consume poppy seeds? Lawsuits have been filed and settled because of the morphine in poppy seeds. This was also confirmed by Myth Busters on national television. In any case, it would be helpful to have your response ready should this happen again. Since your continued treatment may depend on the results of a urine test, an independent confirmation test may be necessary in order to remain with their program.

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