Drug Testing – A False Negative

Most people aren’t aware of this so to help avoid getting a false negative on your next drug test, here are a list of over-the-counter medications that can cause problems if being drug tested.

Advil contains Ibuprofen in which can cause false positives for Marijuana. If you take more than the recommended dose per instructions or your doctor, it might send up a red flag.

Bayer Select Maximum Strength Sinus Pain Relief Caplets has been known to cause false positives for Amphetamines while its sister product, Bayer Select Pain Relief Formula could cause false positives for Marijuana if you were to take the iScreen Marijuana Single Panel drug test.

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) has a common antihistamine that happens to cause some drowsiness and possibly a false positive for Benzodiazepines or PCP. However, a confirmation test would prove your innocence if your administrator or employer has any doubts.

Claritin has the active ingredient Loratadine and Pseudoephedrine Sulfate making the test show false positives for Morphine, Methamphetamines, or Ecstasy if you take more than the recommended dosage.

Mucinex DM contains two key ingredients: dextromethorphan and guaifenesin. Dextromethorphan can cause you to get a false positive for Heroin, Opiates, Morphine on a drug test. Guaifenesin is an expectorant that helps thin and loosens mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough up the mucus. Mucinex-D extended release tablets contain a combination of guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine (commonly referred to as Sudafed). This is a stimulant that decongests stuffy noses and sinuses by constricting the blood vessels that could show up as an amphetamine when you test for drugs.

Nasal Sprays (Vicks inhaler, Afrin) on the market today can cause false positives for Amphetamines or Ecstasy. Again, tell your administrator before you take the drug test to avoid possible confusion.

Tavist D consists of multiple generic medications including Phenylpropanolamine making it possible to test positive for Methamphetamine or Ecstasy on a drug test like the iCup Drug Screen 13 panel we have available on our website.

Tylenol (Acetaminophen) with Codeine, without a doubt, shows up positive for Codeine. However, Tylenol 3 and Tylenol 4 will both show up as Opiates while Tylenol Cold has shown to cause false positives for Amphetamines. Another interesting fact is that if you take Tylenol Simply Sleeps before taking a drug test, chances are that you could show positive for PCP because of the Diphenhydramine. Finally, Tylenol Sinus along with Tylenol Sinus Gelcaps Maximum Strength will show up as false positives for Amphetamines.

Vicks Inhaler’s (found over the counter) is designed to relieve nasal congestion along with allergies. While they are completely safe, there is an ingredient, called L-Methamphetamine, which will result in positive for Methamphetamine use on a drug test. With that being said, Vicks Nasal Spray can also cause false positives for Methamphetamine or Ecstasy. Vicks Cough Syrup and Vicks Formula 44M are both very useful but could cause false positives for Opiates. Vicks Nyquil contains pseudoephedrine which can show positive as an amphetamine.

One more thing to be concerned about if you take cough syrup of any kind: most liquid medicines that prevent coughing will contain a limited amount of alcohol. If you get tested for alcohol, it could show up depending on the time between you taking the medicine and the drug screen. Alcohol is often a major component of cough syrups and other OTC medications, so it may be a good idea to keep aware of how much alcohol your medications actually do contain. Unfortunately, the laws against driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) cannot distinguish between blood alcohol content (BAC) that comes from drinking alcoholic beverages or from medications. It’s all the same to an Alco-Screen 02 test and in the eyes of the law.


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