Feedback on False Positives from Drug Testing, page 119

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: Non-negative test result
Date: 2/4/2011
I got a non-negative on a pre-employment urine test. I do not take any illegal drugs and have not taken any over the counter medicines or vitamins in months. The only thing I have been taking is a protein shake once a day. Any ideas as to what could have caused this?


AskDocWeb: In order to find out what caused that result you need more information. The pre-employment urine test is designed to check for the presence of several different drugs. Which one, or more, did it find? Once you know that you can check this list for possible causes. That may satisfy your curiosity but it will do nothing to get you past the test. For that you need a confirmation test from an independent lab.

Subj: Positive for amphetamines and meth
Date: 2/5/2011
I recently lost my son to Social Services and have been clean from meth for a while now. I was taken back to court and they told me all of my U.A. results were positive for amphetamines and some for meth. I take mertazipine and ambien. my doctor just took me off of the trazadone. Can you tell me if these medications would make me test positive and how do I prove it?


AskDocWeb: Neither of those drugs have been reported to cause a false positive on urine drug tests. The only way to prove that a drug test result is a false positive is to get a gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) confirmation test at a certified lab.

Subj: Secondhand smoke?
Date: 2/5/2011
I got a ride from my friend who who had just smoked marijuana, but the car wasn’t smokey. i took a drugtest the next day (piss in a cup) and i failed. they are going to send it to the lab for further testing. my last 5 drug test have been clean and this is the only one i failed. so my question is will the lab results show that im clean?


AskDocWeb: There is no way to know how much secondhand smoke was still in the car when you took that ride. If it was enough for a urine test to detect it then the confirmation test is likely to come back positive.

Subj: Acne medicines?
Date: 2/6/2011
What type of acne medicines could return a false positive for THC? My son is on a sulfmeth/tmp and a topical of torazac. just wondering?


AskDocWeb: Neither Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim nor Torazac have shown up on urine drug tests. Some antibiotics used to treat acne have caused false positives but not for THC.

Subj: Tested positive for cocaine
Date: 2/6/2011
I recently tested positive for 1250 nano grams of cocaine in my system when i didn’t do anything, i was with a girl that was on it and ive had a cold for the passed 2 weeks got into a car accident and the next day i was tested, can cold medicines or kissing / sexual activity cause me to have that high amount of metabolites in my system?


AskDocWeb: Cocaine is readily absorbed through any mucus membrane tissue such as the lips and gums, which is why snorting is so popular. That also means that kissing and sexual activity with someone using the drug can transfer it to a partner.

Subj: Positive drug test for benzos
Date: 2/7/2011
My son is in a rehab facility for alcohol and just received a positive drug test strip for benzos. He is on Trazodone, Citalopram, buspirone, over the counter prilosec and a multi vitamin. He also just attended a funeral and ate a poppy seed muffin. Could any of these be responsible for a false positive drug test?


AskDocWeb: Sorry Terry, none of what you list has shown up as benzos. Poppy seeds have been known to show up as cocaine but not for benzos.

Subj: Aleve
Date: 2/8/2011
I took a drug test 4 days ago and learned that Aleve could cause a false positive. I was taking three 220mg Aleve a day for about 3-4 weeks. What are my chances of testing positive for THC/Amphetamines?


AskDocWeb: Of course this is just a guess but the test will most likely be negative, as long as you don’t have THC or amphetamines in your system. There is a small chance of testing false positive for THC because of the Aleve but it has not been reported to show up as an amphetamine.

Subj: Anti retroviral treatment?
Date: 2/8/2011
I have just started my anti retroviral treatment the medicine I take is Truvada, Reyataz, and Norivir. I would like to know if they have thc in any of these drugs or is there any way these drugs could make me test positive for a drug test?


AskDocWeb: None of the drugs used to fight viral infections have shown up on urine drug tests.

Subj: Advil PM
Date: 2/8/2011
I have been taking Advil PM for about two months cause they don’t leave me with side affects. I had a urine test come back positive and I brought it up to the Lab that I had been taking the Advil PM the Lab told me that Advil PM will not give positive results..what should I do?


AskDocWeb: You could ask to see the results of the GC/MS confirmation test. Are they saying you tested positive for THC or what? Although the urine test only indicates the possibility of drug abuse (it is not proof), they may still treat you as guilty until proven otherwise. The only way to prove otherwise is to get that confirmation test.

Subj: Urine drug screen for alcohol
Date: 2/8/2011
My minor child failed a urine drug screen for alcohol and swears she did not drink at all. What else could cause a false positive reading for alcohol? Also if she did drink how long would it stay in her system?


AskDocWeb: One of the problems of urine alcohol tests is that many common products that contain alcohol, such as an alcohol based hand lotion can cause a positive result. The length of time alcohol stays in the system after drinking is finished depends on how much was drank, how much food is in the stomach, and the period of time over which the drinking took place. In general, people metabolize alcohol at the rate of 1/2 ounce per hour. That is 1/2 ounce of pure alcohol, which is roughly equivalent to 1-1/4 ounces of 80-proof liquor, 4 ounces of wine, 6 ounces of wine cooler (or hard lemonade), or 12 ounces of beer. When the body metabolizes alcohol it produces by products called metabolites. One of the metabolites alcohol is called ethyl glucuronide, which can be detected in the system for 80 to 96 hours.

Subj: Faint line on a 10 panel test
Date: 2/8/2011
I recently took a urine drug test and had a faint line for benzos, I have not used in over a year and the only medication i will take is tylenol. Do you have any idea what it could have been? Someone told me that sometimes with a 10 panel test the benzo line can show up faint for no reason?


AskDocWeb: Sometimes there will be a faint line due to the manufacturing process. This may mean that the level present is close to the cutoff level so it is reason enough for a second test but, in our opinion, should always be interpreted as a negative test result until proven otherwise.

Subj: Positive for subutex
Date: 2/9/2011
I have been going to my probation officer for almost 3 years. I admited to taken a valume when i first got on probation, but that was because my son almost died. he was literally on life support for some time and my nerves couldn’t handle it. I recently had 2 drug test, Urine, and they both showed positive for subutex. My doctors switch my mental medication around all the time. but the only thing i took was trazidone, that is prescribed. They said that the line was so dark that i had to have taken it with in a hour. WHICH THIS IS NOT TRUE. Every time this one woman test me, i always come up positive for something. Every other time I got some one different I’m fine, everything is negative. WHAT CAN MAKE YOU HAVE FALSE POSITIVE FOR SUBUTEX/ or suboxone? Which the real name is Buprenorphine.


AskDocWeb: Subutex is a brand name of Buprenorphine, which is also sold under the brand names Suboxone, Buprenex, and Temgesic. According to an article published in The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (Volume 55), it may test false positive for oxycodone. It doesn’t seem likely that you would test positive for a specific brand name of a drug. Have you considered talking to the program administrator about that woman who always returns positive test results? It does seem strange that you get negative test results when anyone else does the testing.

Subj: How do I prove false positives?
Date: 2/9/2011
I have been on Methadone for 3 years and have never had a positive drug screen. I recently changed clinics and on their first urine test, I came up positive for BOTH opiates and benzodiazapines. The ONLY medicines that I take are Tylenol, Ibuprofen (about 1600mg 4x’s daily), Benadry, claratin and recently a topical for a tooth ache. Also, I did consume a total of 3 poppy seed bagels in the previous 48 hours before the drug screen. None of these things are out of the ordinary and I’ve never come up positive before. Also, I have switched from smoking cigarettes to the electric cigarettes which only contain nicotine and Propylene Glycol. I don’t know if that can be problematic in drug screens. I am sure that they are not using the same lab as my previous clinic. My question is can’t they break down urine to pinpoint EXACTLY what I am testing positive for? And, if it is the Poppy seeds, can’t a more extensive test confirm that with metabolites? I know that I have not taken any benzodiazapines or opiates! How do I prove that these are false positives?


AskDocWeb: The only way to prove that a drug test result is a false positive is to get a confirmation test at a certified lab. They use a gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) to break down and identify the exact components present in the urine sample.

Subj: Tested positive for Benzos
Date: 2/9/2011
My son was prescribed 3 medications for a staph infection: 1) Methylprednisolone (tablets) 2) Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole 800 (tablets) 3) Cetirizine HCL (Zyrtec) – tablets. He tested positive for Benzos on a drug test. He showed the person his prescriptions and was told that since none of the prescriptions at the words Benzo in them, that none of these meds are Benzos. Do you know if any of these medications would cause someone to test positive for Benzos? Thanks.


AskDocWeb: We will try to say this as gently as we can; You can’t always rely on just the name of a drug to indicate the ingredients of that drug. From your description you son is taking a corticosteroid, two antibiotics and an antihistamine. None of those would account for a positive result for benzos.

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