Can Supplements and Medications Interfere with Drug Testing?
Many people will need to take a drug test at some point in their lives. Individuals may be required to take a drug test when applying for a new job, as a regular policy at their current job, or in their roles as students and athletes.
Often, people facing a drug test will feel a little anxious — even if they don’t use any illegal substances. For example, some may find themselves anxiously wondering, “Can supplements and medications interfere with my drug testing?”
What Is a False Positive Drug Test?
When a person has not ingested any illegal substances, but a drug test still recognizes some of the molecules within the person’s body as illegal drugs, we refer to this as a “false positive.” Typically, drug tests screen for cocaine, PCP, opioids, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and marijuana.
According to the Boston Medical Center, anywhere from 5% to 10% of drug tests produce false positive results. Even though this is not a common occurrence, failing a drug test can have severe consequences that put a person at risk of losing their chance at an education or job. It is important to be aware of any vitamins, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter medications that could lead to a false positive drug test.
Medications That Can Cause False Positive Results
There are several analgesics that could induce a false positive. An arthritis medication called Daypro runs the risk of yielding positive results for benzodiazepines, while a pain medication referred to as tramadol can cause a false positive for PCP. In addition, over-the-counter pain medications like Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen) may cause a false positive for PCP or THC.
Before taking a drug test, inform your healthcare provider about any antibiotics you’re currently taking. Like Levaquin or Cipro, any quinolone antibiotics could induce a false positive result for opiates. If you are currently taking Rifampin, an antibiotic that is commonly prescribed for tuberculosis, there is also a possibility that you may have a false positive result for opiates.
Any antidepressants could lead to a false positive for LSD or amphetamines. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants include Wellbutrin, Seroquel, and Prozac. Keep this in mind before completing a drug test, and be sure to advise your test administrator.
If you’ve taken antihistamines or sleep aids before a drug test that contains diphenhydramine, it could trigger a false positive for methadone or PCP. The most commonly used antihistamine with diphenhydramine is Benadryl. Furthermore, the active ingredient in Unisom called doxylamine can cause a false positive for PCP, methadone, and opiates.
Central Nervous System Stimulants
People who take stimulant medications for ADHD, such as Adderall or Ritalin, can induce a false positive for methamphetamines and amphetamines.
If you have a drug test coming up and you’ve been taking cough suppressants for a cold, it’s of the utmost importance to let your doctor know. Cough suppressants containing dextromethorphan, such as Robitussin or Delsym, may cause a false positive for PCP or opiates.
Common Substances That Can Cause False Positive Results
Vitamin B Supplements
While many people take vitamin B supplements to boost energy, they should be aware that B2 (riboflavin) can cause a false positive for THC because it is found in hemp seed oil.
CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. It is readily available in everything from drinks to tinctures and weight loss formulas. People take CBD for a variety of different reasons, including pain management, promoting sleep, and relieving anxiety. Although CBD should not have the psychoactive component of marijuana called THC, these products are not well-regulated. As a result, they’re at a high risk of cross-contamination, so drug test results may screen positive for marijuana.
Kava is a depressant that many people take in the form of a drink or pill to relax before going to sleep. However, drug test results may come back positive for MDMA.
It is recommended that people do not take an energy drink before submitting a urine drug screening because they have a risk of causing a false positive for methamphetamines, opiates, or marijuana. This includes energy drinks such as Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, and Bang.
Hemp Seed Oil
Some people take hemp seed oil supplements because they are high in linoleic acid, which lowers cholesterol. However, hemp seeds are the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant, which is also a source of marijuana. Although hemp seeds do not have the psychoactive ingredient THC, there is a chance that taking this supplement could cause a false positive for marijuana use.
If you are being tested for alcohol consumption, ensure that you do not use any breath cleaning products beforehand. The alcohol within some liquid medications and mouthwash can cause a person to test positive for drinking alcohol.
What to Do If You Have a False Positive Drug Test
If you believe that you failed a drug test as a result of taking a prescription drug or consuming a non-illicit substance, there are actions that you can take to correct this mishap. Before any corrective action is taken, ask the test administrator to perform another test that is more specific. They may send your results to a lab for further testing. If you are taking a prescribed medication that may have caused a false positive result, request that the test administrator perform another test in 30 to 60 days. With physicians’ approval, you may be able to discontinue taking the medication for a specific period of time and produce a negative test result.
Avoid a False Positive with Countrywide Testing
Before taking any drug test, ensure that the person administering the test is aware of any medications and supplements that you are currently taking. If you are concerned about having a false positive test result, consider taking an at-home drug test to discern whether or not the substances you take could cause a false positive result.
If you’re in need of an at-home drug test, Countrywide can help. We offer easy, multipanel drug tests that can be used in the comfort of your own home.
At Countrywide, we provide results you can trust. To learn more, explore our catalog of convenient, at-home drug tests or contact our team today!