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Does Benadryl Show Up on a Drug Test?


Drug testing can be a necessary part of many people's lives, whether it’s for employment purposes, athletics, or due to legal reasons. But while drug tests are designed to detect certain illicit substances, they may also pick up on commonly used medications such as Benadryl. 

People should understand how regular substances like Benadryl affect their bodies and whether they will show up on drug screens. This way can prepare and take the appropriate steps when undergoing a drug test while taking over-the-counter medications.

If you're taking Benadryl, here's everything you need to know about this drug and its interactions with drug screenings.

What Is Benadryl?

Benadryl is the brand name for an over-the-counter antihistamine medication containing diphenhydramine hydrochloride. This common medication can be purchased in multiple forms, including liquids, tablets, and capsules. Benadryl does not require a prescription and is typically used to treat allergies, cold symptoms, and coughing.

How Does Benadryl Affect Your Body?

Benadryl works by blocking histamine receptors in the brain which helps reduce allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and runny nose. It also serves as a sedative that causes drowsiness and relaxation. In addition to these benefits, it may also be used to help control anxiety or act as a sleep aid. Due to its versatile applications, Benadryl is an extremely popular OTC option.

Can Everyone Use Benadryl?

Benadryl does have some potential side effects and should not be taken by everyone. It is advised to consult a doctor before taking Benadryl if you are currently taking other medications, suffer from certain medical conditions (such as glaucoma or an enlarged prostate), or have experienced any unusual reaction to this medication in the past.

Who Has to Take Drug Tests?

Drug tests are often mandatory for certain individuals, such as those in the military or who hold safety-sensitive jobs. Drug screening may also be required for athletics and other performance-based activities. People on parole or probation or in certain rehabilitation programs may also be required to take scheduled drug tests.

Drug testing is not just limited to urine samples; depending on the substances being targeted, these screenings can also include hair follicle testing, saliva testing, and blood sampling.

Does Benadryl Show Up on a Drug Test?

Benadryl does not generally appear on drug tests, as it does not contain any of the substances that are commonly tested for. However, diphenhydramine does have a slight resemblance to methamphetamine and may cause a false positive if a test is not sensitive enough to differentiate between them. This means that if you take Benadryl regularly or even occasionally and are due for a drug screen, there is always a chance of the result being inaccurate.

What to Do If You're Getting Tested While on Benadryl

The first step when taking Benadryl and having an upcoming drug test is to alert the lab performing the test of the medication you are taking. This will allow them to adjust their testing parameters to ensure accuracy. Additionally, if you are taking Benadryl regularly, it may be beneficial to switch to a different type of antihistamine that does not share similar properties with any substances tested for in drug screens.

What Happens If You Fail a Drug Screen?

Failing a drug test can have various consequences. For instance, you may face disciplinary action at work or have your parole or probation revoked. It is important to know your rights and understand the implications of any failed drug tests, especially if it is due to a false positive caused by taking Benadryl or other innocuous substances.

If you fail a drug screen, speak with the lab directly and explain any medications or supplements you are taking, along with your medical history. This is important to make sure there is no confusion and that the results of your test are accurate. If you've already failed a drug test due to Benadryl or other substances that can cause false positives, explain the situation and see if you can arrange to be re-tested.

What Else Can Cause False Positives?

In addition to Benadryl, there are many other substances that can cause false positives in drug tests. Some of these include:

  • certain antibiotics, antidepressants, and antifungal medications, such as fluconazole and ketoconazole
  • cold and flu medications, such as Nyquil
  • specific types of supplements or vitamins, like Vitamin B12
  • inhalers and nasal sprays, such as Flonase
  • food ingredients like poppy seeds
  • products containing hemp or CBD oil

When in doubt, it is always best to disclose any medications or supplements you are taking before taking a drug test. If possible, you may also want to cease the use of any problematic substances prior to your test.

Get Ahead of False Positives with Countrywide Testing

If you're taking Benadryl and have questions about how it may interact with your upcoming drug test, it may be helpful to take your own at-home test in advance of any mandated alcohol screenings. This will let you know if your use of Benadryl or any other substance is likely to show up as a positive test result.

At Countrywide Testing, our reliable and accurate drug testing services can help you understand if any substances — from allergy medicines to foods, vitamins, or supplements — will cause any issues by showing up on your test. Forearmed with this knowledge, you can make necessary lifestyle changes or let your test administrator know about any potential complications. 

Countrywide is an online retailer providing you with easy access to standard drug tests. We offer an array of products for testing at home, individuals staying clean after rehab, workplace testing, healthcare emergencies, and law enforcement purposes. Our test kits are convenient, affordable, and ship to you quickly. Plus, our lab is accredited by SAMHSA, so you can rest assured your test results are handled in accordance with the highest industry standards.

At Countrywide Testing, we provide fast, accurate results in an easy-to-use format so that you can get the information you need. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive selection of testing services.