Feedback on False Positives from Drug Testing, page 52

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: Ambien
Date: 12/11/2008
My name is Bill I’m enrolled in a Methadone Clinic to treat my pain from an inoperable broken back, My reason for choosing a Meth. Clinic was due to the fact that the meds are monitored and it saves me from the worry of having my house broken into again by unknowns searching for the pain meds I used to be prescribed: Oxycontin 40mg. Oxy Ir 5mg. & Ativan. My question is I was prescribed Flomax for enlarged prostate, since starting the Flomax all my urine tests have came back positive for “Cocaine”, after several so-called dirty-urines I got fed-up and had my doctor change my prostate med to “Cardura”, since the change my urine tests have been clean, also I need to know if “Ambien” the sleep aid can cause a false positive for anything other than what it is? Thank you for answering my questions, your site is the only source of finding answers about my problems with certain meds and trying not to loose my privileges at the clinic I attend. You answered my first question on 9/26/2008, and you helped me out by giving me the information I needed. Thanks,

Bill from Pa.

AskDocWeb: We know from personal experience how bad back pain can get and you have our sympathy. Ambien has not been reported to cause any false positives on urine drug tests.

Subj: At risk of losing nursing license
Date: 12/12/2008
I am at risk of losing my RN nursing license for 3 years because of a posative test for barbituates. These are the meds I was on, can any of these cause this? Cellbrex 100mg BID, Seroquel 50mg @ HS, Lyrica 75mg BID, Zoloft 50mg daily, Chantix 1mg BID, Motrin 400mg, Mucinex tablets, Melatonin 3mg 2 tabs at nite to sleep. Please send me any info and cited journals you may have.


AskDocWeb: According to Robert Hsiung, MD, University of Chicago, Zoloft has sometimes shown up as a false positive for benzodiazepines. (Reference: 31)

Subj: Positive for meth
Date: 12/12/2008
I had a baby recently and due to hypertension I had a c section and was put on hydrazine 50mg and labetalol 200mg. I also took percacet and ibuprofen for pain. I came up positive for meth 7 days after birth was negative at time of birth. I never left hospital in those 7 days as blood pressure was unstable. Is there any way this can be explained as I am devastated?


AskDocWeb: We cannot explain it but suggest getting a GC/MS confirmation test to identify any false positives.

Subj: PCP?
Date: 12/16/2008
My daughter in law is 8 months pregnant and had a sonogram yesterday, as well as a urinalysis. I was in the room with her when the nurse got the urine sample from the bathroom. It was a pinkish color. Later she was told she tested positive for PCP. There is no way she has done any of that. Lately she has taken some cough meds. Her son has bronchitis and she was congested too. Otherwise she’s only taken Tylenol and her prenatal vitamins. Can a positive test for PCP be caused by something else? Thanks.


AskDocWeb: We found references for five possible causes of a false positive for PCP:

Subj: Tested positive
Date: 12/16/2008
I take Soma, Fiorinal, Fiorinal w/ Codiene, Phenergan, Synthroid, Claritan, Celexa, Topomax, Baclofen, Lortab, and Zantac all by doctor’s prescription. Some are daily and some as needed. I was also taking the following OTC medicines: Sudefed PE and Robitussin gelcaps, then swithched to DayQuil and NyQuil gelcaps due to cold symptoms. I recently tested positive for benzodiazedines, opiates, and meth. I don’t take any other medicines or any kind of street drugs. I do take No Doze caffeine tablets occasionally but that is it. I’ve heard Lortad test positive for opiates, but I’m not sure about the other two. Would any of these or a combination of them cause a false positive testing? Do you have any answers for me as to why I would test positive to these three things?


AskDocWeb: It appears that you have several possible causes. Fiorinal w/codeine, Lortab, Nyquil, Phenergan, Sudefed, and Zantac are all on this list.

Subj: Tested positive for benzodiazepines
Date: 12/17/2008
I have been taking 100mg of zoloft every day for the last 9 months. I have been in drug testing since February 2008 for a court mandated program. On 11/25/08, my screen tested positive for benzodiazapines and trace on 12/1 and 12/8. All previous screens have been negative. I have also tested negative for a Health Practitioners program thru the state of Virginia, some 30 times. I adamantly deny taking any Benzo thru my entire screening process. What is the likelihood that Sertraline did cause this false positive and am I at risk for future positive readings. I appreciate any input you can offer.


AskDocWeb: According to an article in LabMedicine you are at risk of false positives for benzodiazepines as long as you continue taking Zoloft. The only recourse would seem to be a GC/MS confirmation test each time the results come back positive.

Subj: Positive drug screen for Barbiturates?
Date: 12/18/2008
Can taking large amounts of aspirin cause a positive drug screen for Barbiturates(Butalbital)? Cause I’ve just taken a drug screen and it came back positive for Barbiturates, also two days before I took a Ibuprofen pill for my headache, and I took Azithromycin, and I was on Folic acid pills (herbal supplement) and Acidopholios pills. Can anyone of these cause a positive drug screen for Barbiturates?


AskDocWeb: The only aspirin that has been reported to show up on drug screens is the aspirin with codeine. Ibuprofen has been mentioned but that was in relation to a false positive for marijuana. The others you mentioned are not on the list.

Subj: Test for employment
Date: 12/20/2008
My son had a drug test for work that came back positive for cocaine. There is no way that that is possible. He does not do cocaine. Could taking large amounts of Melatonine to sleep and/or Ibruprofen and cold meds such as Sudefed and NyQuil or DayQuil cause a false reading for cocaine? They are rechecking his test for employment but if these things can cause a false positive then it will again come back positive. Should it then be redone with a new sample?


AskDocWeb: If his job depends on the outcome of the test then it should be verified with a GC/MS confirmation test. That will rule out false positives.

Subj: Neurontin
Date: 12/23/2008
Does Neurontin show up as false positive on pre-employment drug screens, and if so, are the returned results specific to that drug? Or could the result of the screen list either Lyrica and/or Neurontin? Thanks,


AskDocWeb: Neurontin has not been reported to cause any problems with urine drug tests.

Subj: Ephedra
Date: 12/24/2008
Can ephedra cause false positive for meth?


AskDocWeb: According to a Legal Bulletin from the Lewisburg Prison in Pennsylvania, Ephedra (Ma Haung) may show up as a false positive for Amphetamines, Heroin, Opiates (Ref: 1)

Subj: Drug problems or employee problems?
Date: 12/27/2008
Recently many narcotics came up missing from ___ where I worked. When I was questioned about the medication, I do not know anything about drugs missing and did not have access to the medication. A few days later, K– started calling nurses in for drug testing, while some of the other nurses waited until almost a week later to get tested. I was called in to do a drug test and K– handed me a cup and told me to go into the bathroom. So I did. I wasn’t worried, because I hadn’t taken anything. During my Drug Test K– left out of the room leaving someone else there (that was not administering the test) and came back to complete my drug test. There were other drug test sitting on the table that were done before mine. Later, I found out I was suppose to seal the lab bag, but I didn’t, K– did, I guess after I left the room (not sure). I went back to my meeting. It just so happened that E– (the employee K– said she wanted to give my job to) was there on the day of my drug test and several other days, which she was suppose to be on medical leave of absence.

Almost three weeks later, K— came into Ch–‘s office where V– and I were and said that she needed a copy of my prescription medication Adderall, she said that Adderall showed up in my drug test. That a GC/MS test was ran to determine it was Adderall. She also said that copy of the prescriptions was missing from my personnel file. I told her that Adderall could not have showed up in the drug test, because I have not been taking the medication. I did tell her I was taking phentermine and asked her if she wanted that prescription. She said no. I also immediately asked for another drug test and she said no. A Medical Review Officer or “Loss Control” never contacted me to determine if there is a medical explanation for a particular substance to be present. With K– and my history, I do not feel as if she was the right person to be giving me a drug test. I don’t know. I told her I would get a copy of the prescription, if it will clear me. I went to my office and called Wal-Mart to get them to fax me over a copy. I was in the hall and — asked me again about the prescription in front of another employees (un-professional behavior?). I told her that Wal-Mart pharmacy had just opened and they said it would take about 30 minutes to get the copy. I decided to go to Wal-Mart and get the list my self. I went to look for K– and she was out side smoking with T– and N–. I told her I needed to go to Wal-Mart for a minute to pick up something. She said that was fine. I went to Wal-Mart and got a copy of my prescription medication and placed them on Ka–‘s desk. She called me to her office and told me that the copy from the pharmacy would not work and said all I needed to do is to find the original bottle with the original date on it and bring it to her, and I could keep my job, otherwise I would be terminated.

Later, I found the bottle and took it up to her office, she was not there so I gave it to the DON. The DON called me later and said K– said it will not do because I should have brought the bottle right in and it did not have any medication in the bottle. I told her to tell K–, I did not take the medication. (I had the extra medication from the bottle, but I did not know I needed to give it to K–) I have been getting phone calls that, K– has been telling people she fired me for failing a drug test, that I was taking my children’s Adderall (K– did not know that my children have not been on Adderal in over 4 months or that I do not take the medication due to a reaction it causes on me.), that her and HR has already fixed a drug test for me before (which was not true). Other employees have seen my drug test results on the fax machine, she has been making phone calls to other management about me with employees in the office. I explained to her that I had seldom took the medication because of an adverse reaction it caused and also I did not like people knowing about me taking medication, and that I had a prescription.

What is the drug testing chain of custody form? — had never asked me for a list of my medication or if I was taking anything. Was this appropriate for her to have mentioned my test results in front of someone else? HIPAA? How do I find out if they are DOT regulated? How long does it take to for the results of a urine drug test? Why would Adderall be showing up instead of the phentermine? Would something else be causing the Adderall to show up? Please help me… I am a single parent and have been a nurse, helping others, for 20 years. What can I do???? If anything??? Thank You,


AskDocWeb: It sounds like you have a very uncomfortable work environment with several different problems. Human Resources may or may not be able to help with someone trying to get you fired. You might find out who the appropriate party is to file complaints about unprofessional behavior. Maintaining a hostile work environment is against the law in many places. Enforcing that law may involve contacting an employment lawyer but if you do, be prepared to fight for your job. At the least we suggest you educate yourself about the proper drug testing procedures and the chain of custody involved with testing in your area.

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