Feedback on False Positives from Drug Testing, page 14

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: Surgery and Shisha
Date: 5/1/2007
My husband had his tonsils removed 10 days ago and is taking Hydrocodone/APAP. Can any drugs he had during the operation or taking this medication cause a false positive for THC in a drug screening test? Also, can shisha (Arabic hookah tobacco) cause a THC false positive result? Thank You!


AskDocWeb: We have no idea what drugs your husband had in surgery or what they put in Arabic hookah tobacco, sorry.

Date: 5/1/2007
Hi, my name is Tom and I am desperately in need of help with a real big problem that I encountered today. I was sent in to take a drug test and came back negative for benzodiazepines, but that isn’t the problem, when I went the last time it came back positive, so they said it was probably from my (Paxil, anti-depressant). Now that it came back negative they are saying that I was taking something else to make it come back positive. Is it possible for my medication or any other over the counter meds to cause a false positive on the drug screen when it was tested on a drug test stick? I don’t know what to do please respond with any help you can.


AskDocWeb: Yes, it’s possible. Please see our response to Dee on 3/14/2007 for help.

Subj: Tested positive for amphetamines
Date: 5/3/2007
My son tested positive for amphetamines. He takes mini-ephedrine he buys at the mini-marts for long drives back and forth to work. Can you give more information on how this gives a false positive?


AskDocWeb: Some places just use an EMIT test (Enzyme Multiple Immunoassay Test) and by itself that can produce a false positive (a test result that shows the presence of an illegal drug, when in fact a legal drug is the culprit), this is because the test is not 100% accurate. A second test called a Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) test can verify or deny the results.

Subj: Positive for methamphetamines
Date: 5/4/2007
My three old son got sick (fever) and I took him to the doctor. They did a several test and also a urine test. He came back positive for methamphetamines. They had given him large does of Motrin for fever, an antibody. He also was taking Bactrim (sulfa) for 10 days which turned out he was allergic to sulfa. They only did a simple test and said they would forward it to a more precise test. They did ask me if I gave or did crystal meth. I don’t even know what it is. My husband and I are sick over this because they were somewhat accussive. Could this test just be a false positive because of the other drugs? Is the other test more precise?


AskDocWeb: Yes to both, it is possible to get a false positive with a simple urine test and the GC/MS test is much more precise.

Subj: What is a flag reference?
Date: 5/5/2007
My husband has diabetes with known kidney damage. He tested weak positive for marijuana, amphetamines, barbituates, and cocaine. He has never done any illegal drugs! Where can we get more information on this? Also, what is a “flag reference”? All the flag references on his test came out negative.


AskDocWeb: A flag reference is a specific substance being tested for in a test. Flag references are the things that indicate special attention is required because of the presence of a condition, dysfunction, disease, or drug.

Your doctor may be able to provide information specific to your husband. Word out of the New York University Medical Center is that “liver problems, kidney problems, or diabetes may cause a false-positive for amphetamines, opiates, or cocaine.”

Subj: Federal standards
Date: 5/6/2007
How do you (know) if a drug test lab meets federal standards or is certified by the state or federal government?


AskDocWeb: You could call them up and ask them or visit their website. If they are certified, they will be happy to tell you as that is one of their selling points for their services.

Subj: Positive result for marijuana
Date: 5/8/2007
I recently did a drug test for an employment opportunity and received a positive result for marijuana. I take Sulindac 150mg (Clinoril) and Advil 3-4 tablets 3 times a day for tendonitis. Can either of those cause false positive test results for marijuana?


AskDocWeb: Advil has been reported to cause a false positive for THC, the illegal part of marijuana.

Subj: Tested positive for cocaine but do not use it
Date: 5/8/2007
How are you? I have been taking drug tests for over 2 years now because I’m in the Marine Corps today I tested positive for cocaine but I do not use that drug so I started researching on the meds that I’ve had issued to me for multiple things and I found on this web site that penicillin can make me have a false positive so thank you for this website!


Subj: What will show positive?
Date: 5/14/2007
Hi, I have a spine injury and get shots in my back for it and a bad inner ear nerve I take a drug called lipoflavonoid for my ears. It has eriodictyol glycoside, b6, b12, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, Bioflavonoids, choline, inositol and Pantothenic acid in it I also take norco. 10/325,oxycodone, ambien, somas and clindamycin for my tooth they are all prescriptions from my doctors I also take Advil and Sudafed sometimes. I got hurt at work and they gave me a drug test and as you know I failed so I’m waiting for them to run the test and my prescriptions the shots I get in my spine are called pain blocker shots I don’t know what all it is. What here will show me positive and what will it show up as. Thanks,


AskDocWeb: Both Advil and riboflavin could test positive for THC and Sudafed could show up as amphetamines or ecstacy.

Subj: Imodium
Date: 5/15/2007
Can taking Imodium cause a false positive on a drug test? The drug, loperamide HCL is a man made opiate. Thanks


AskDocWeb: Imodium has not been reported to cause a false positive on drug tests.

Subj: Xenadrine
Date: 5/15/2007
I was recently terminated from my law enforcement job of 6 years after I applied to another law enforcement agency, which reported that I tested positive for Amphetamines. On the date of my urinalysis I disclosed that I had taken Xenadrine, Muscle Milk and a Motrin consistently over the previous 14 Days. The toxicologist who performed the drug test not only overlooked the Xenadrine (which contained Ephedrine) but reported that I tested positive for amphetamines. The report also stated that the test had been confirmed by GCMS. I have read reports that GCMS is no more accurate than the initial test and if so why would the toxicologist ignore the Xenadrine since Ephedrine is the precursor to Amphetamine. Please clarify if possible.


AskDocWeb: The GC/MS test (Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer) is more accurate than the EMIT (Enzyme Multiple Immunoassay Test), that’s why it is used for confirmation. Reports to the contrary probably originate in testing conducted by uncertified labs where standards are lower and mistakes happen more frequently. We can only speculate about that toxicologist. As you know, the level of competence varies in every profession.

Subj: Prilosec or Epivir HBC
Date: 5/16/2007
Does Prilosec or Epivir HBC cause a false positive for cocaine in urinalysis?


AskDocWeb: There have been no reports about either one causing a false positive.

Subj: Ranitidine
Date: 5/17/2007
My brother is in jail and they gave him ranitidine for his gas and he fail his drug test and told him it was for methamphetamines what can I do? Thank you very much for your help.


AskDocWeb: About all you can do is have him tell the drug testers that he did take Ranitidine. He may be able to retake the test.

Subj: Buddahs blend
Date: 5/17/2007
I have been using a herbal smoking product called Buddahs blend for a couple days. It contains prickly poppy and California poppy. I am on probation and get random test, how likely is the chance of a false positive with the poppy and what do I do if it does give a false positive? I currently do not use any cannabus or other narcotics so is a positive result even likely? Please write me back.


AskDocWeb: Sorry Robert, we don’t have time for individual replies. Since you are on probation, you may want to avoid anything that you even suspect might cause a false positive. It’s easier to avoid a false positive than it is to end up back in jail.

Subj: Tested positive for THC
Date: 5/18/2007
I just took a drug test and it came out positive for THC. I take xanax, Wellbutrin, lexapro and nortryptline. Can any of these test positive for THC?


AskDocWeb: None of these products are listed as causing a false positive for THC. Of course our list is not complete, we are adding to it all the time.

Subj: False positive for Marijuana
Date: 5/19/2007
My wife was called to take a pre-employment drug test 3 years after she was working at the job because they could not find the paperwork for the test she took 3 years ago which was negative. This recent test came back positive for marijuana and she was fired immediately. We are very confused. We have no information what test was performed. She gave a urine sample. She takes Advil PM every night, uses a hemp shampoo called Hempz, takes multiple nutritional supplements every day including B vitamins, Adipex for weight control, Hyzaar for high blood pressure and Zoloft. She is post-menopausal barely. We eat basically whole foods with herbal seasonings. We both smoked pot in our hippie days but she is 56 years old now. Any thoughts/suggestions on either false positives or confirming type of test? We know nothing except the lab called with results and the job called saying she is fired. I don’t even know if she listed medications/supplements she was taking.


AskDocWeb: Sorry to hear about what happened to your wife. The drug tests are tough and many people have lost their jobs because of over the counter products they used. In order to find out the test used, and the name of the lab that did the test, call the employer. If they won’t tell you, tell them you are contesting the results.

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