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Medicine and Food That Interact With Drug Tests

July 16, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

Be aware that certain foods and over-the-counter medications can cause you to test “positive” for various kinds of drugs.

Poppy seeds, for example, can show up on a drug test as morphine. Cold remedies that contain codeine can also cause a positive result for morphine.

Valium reportedly can produce erroneous indications of phencyclidine (PCP), and other cold remedies can apparently produce false reports of methamphetamine usage.

Dextromethorphan can produce a falsely positive qualitative urine opiate screening.

The widespread availability of hemp-containing products, including everything from hemp-seed oil nutritional supplements to hemp-seed candy, cookies, cheese, bread, cooking oil, and general seasoning, means that ingesting ANY of these products could potentially cause a false positive result on a test for marijuana.

Ibuprofen, contained in Advil, Nuprin, and Mortin, can make a positive result for marijauna. The EMIT test (an immunoassay test) has therefore been changed to use a different enzyme to eliminate false positives due to Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen in very high doses will still interfere with both the EMIT and the gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) test.

Ibuprofen is a common pain reliever that (even in low dosages) used to cause a false THC positive on the EMIT test. The EMIT has been changed to use a different enzyme to eliminate false positives due to Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen in very high doses will still interfere with both the EMIT and the GC-MS. There is some conflicting data here because some sources say that the GC-MS tests can distinguish between Ibuprofen and THC (as well as other over-the-counter drugs).

Common over the counter cold, asthma, and allergy remedies and diet pills such as Diatec, Dexatrim, Cotylenol, Triaminic, Primatene, Bronkotabs, and Nyquil can show up as positive for amphetamines.

Vicks Formula-44, Demerol, Mydol, Primatene-M and common prescription antidepressants such as Elavil and Tofanil can show up as positive for opiates such as opium and heroin.

Ephedra, also known as Ephedra Alkaloids or “MaHuang Extract” has a chemical structure which is closely related to amphetamine, and can reportedly give a false positive for amphetamines. Often sold as an “energy pill” it is an effective decongestant in low doses.

Valerian root is reported to cause false positives for benzodiazepines. Other herbal supplements such as Kava Kava and St Johns Wort may also affect body chemistry such that false positives are produced.

Zoloft (Wellbutrin) is reported to cause false positives in urine screens, although for what specific substance isn’t clear.

Primatene can also show up as positive for barbiturates, and Benadryl can show up positive for Methadone.

Some additional over the counter medicines that may cause various kinds of drug test interactions include Alka-Seltzer plus, Allerest, Bronkaid, Contac, Donnagel, Sinuntab, and Sudafed.

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False Positive Drug Tests

May 7, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

According to a news report from the Los Angeles Times New Service, a study of 161 prescription and over the counter medications showed that 65 of them produced false positive drug test results in the most widely administered urine drug test procedure. Ronald Siegel, a psychopharmacologist at UCLA said ‘The widespread testing and reliance on tell-tale traces of drugs in the urine is simply a panic reaction invoked because the normal techniques for controlling drug use haven’t worked very well. The next epidemic will be testing abuse.” Currently there are more than 250 over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs that can cause false positives.  

Click on links to find false positive drugs:

Marijuana (THC)
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA)
Barbiturates (BAR)
Buprenorphine (BUP)
Benzodiazepines (BZO)
Phencyclidine (PCP)
Methadone (MTD)
Oxycodone (OXY)
Methamphetamine (MAMP)
Amphetamines (AMP)
Propoxyphene (PPX)
Opiates and Morphine (OPI or MOR)

Note: Cocaine (COC) and Ecstasy (MDMA) has no cross reaction drugs at this time.

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What is Methadone?

April 16, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

Methadone mimics many of the effects of opiates such as heroin.

Methadone is one of a number of synthetic opiates (also called opioids) that are manufactured for medical use and have similar effects to heroin. These include dihydrocodeine (DF118s), pethidine (often used in childbirth), diconal, palfium and temgesic.

Methadone and subutex (buprenorphine) are used as substitutes for heroin in the treatment of heroin addiction.

Methadone mimics many of the effects of opiates such as heroin. However, there are many differences. For example, heroin produces an almost immediate “rush” or brief period of euphoria, which wears off relatively quickly, resulting in a strong craving to use more heroin. In contrast, methadone has a more gradual onset of action when administered orally. Its effects can last up to 24 hours, which allows the patient to take methadone only once a day without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Research has demonstrated that, when methadone is given in regular doses by a physician, it has the ability to block the euphoria caused by heroin if the individual does try to take heroin. Despite methadone’s role in the treatment of heroin addiction, it has addictive properties and also a high potential for abuse on the street. Methadone enters the illicit drug market primarily as a result of patients selling their prescriptions.

Methadone doesn’t deliver the same degree of buzz or high like heroin. It allows people to tackle their psychological addiction and stabilize their lifestyle when used as a substitute for heroin in treatment it stops withdrawal symptoms. Then the dose can be reduced slowly until that user is off the drug completely. When used to come off heroin there are still problems with withdrawal but there are much less severe than ‘cold turkey’ that occurs when stopping heroin.

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What is Opiates?

April 12, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

The term opiate refers to the alkaloids found in opium, an extract from the seed pods of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.). It has also traditionally referred to natural and semi-synthetic derivatives of morphine. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to all drugs with opium-/morphine-like pharmacological action, which are more properly classified under the broader term opioid.

Opiates are primarily central nervous system (CNS) depressants and narcotic analgesics. The use of opiates typically creates physical as well as psychological dependence and tolerance. Opium is the milky latex fluid contained in the unripened seed pod of the opium poppy (papaver somniferum).

Opium contains a number of different alkaloids. But only one family of alkaloids, the phemanthrene alkaloids, can be converted to narcotic substances. It is this highly addictive family of alkaloids and their derivatives that are controlled by national and international law. From this family comes morphine, codeine, and thebaine – the natural opiates The semi-synthetic opiates are then derived from these substances.

Make sure you drug test your employees and teens for Opiates.

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What prescription drugs can interfere with the Five-Screen test and how is this dealt with?

April 11, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

Certain over the counter medications can interfere with accurate results. These include ibuprofen and ephedrine-based products. Most drug testing companies will ask the applicant in advance what medications they have recently taken. The applicant should list these carefully. If the medication has compromised the result of the drug test the sample is automatically retested using a methodology that will identify the drug type. The applicant can present a doctor’s prescription for the medication that can be reviewed by the medical officer. Some medications will preliminarily test non-negative, but the confirmatory tests will rule out any non-illegal substances

Employers cannot discriminate in their hiring practices based on an applicant’s use of prescription medication for legitimate medical purposes. Such discrimination could be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Click on the link for:

Cross Reaction Drug Chart

Note: Cocaine (COC) and Ecstasy (MDMA) has no cross reaction drugs at this time.

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Advantages of Multi Panel Drug Test

April 8, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

The drug abuse among people, employees, and especially among teenagers is a cause of concern and several drug testing methods are used to check drug abuse. Multi panel drug testing kits can be easily used for employee drug testing, home drug testing, performance drug testing, pre-employment and random employee drug testing etc. The multi panel drug testing proves to be beneficial as they test for number of drugs, are easy to perform, and provides reliable and accurate results. The multi panel drug testing kits use urine or saliva to detect drugs.

Checks for Multiple Drug Tests
The primary objective of multi panel drug testing kits is to test for several drugs in a single sample at one time. Since number of drugs can be tested through one kit, there is no need to conduct separate test for each drug and thus it saves time. The multi panel drug testing kits can detect number of drugs present in any combination in urine or saliva samples. Multi-panel urine drug screen test also increases the efficiency of the drug test as it can find multiple drugs presence in single specimen at first attempt. They are available in different formats like multi panel drug test cups and multi panel drug test cards. The multi panel drug tests can detect commonly abused drugs like Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Marijuana (THC), Phencyclidine, Opiates, Methadone, Barbiturate, Benzodiazepine, and Ecstasy in urine and saliva samples.

The multi panel drug tests saves considerable amount of money as it tests for several drugs in single sample in first attempt. They are also suitable for random drug testing which requires quick results. The multi panel drug tests are also easy to conduct, provide accurate, quick, and reliable results. Multi panel drug tests are also available in different drug combinations according to the needs. Thus, it provides for a cost-effective way that gives good returns and value for the money.

Simple and Easy To Use
Multi panel drug tests are available in test cards and test cups which are designed for easy handling and easy to use. They can be easily performed at onsite locations and provides results in just 5 mins. It provides an easy step by step procedure to conduct the test without the need of any additional instruments. It also gives same accuracy levels for preliminary tests when conducted in laboratories.

Helpful At Workplace
Multi panel drug tests are suitable for random drug testing performed at workplaces, colleges, schools, sports events etc. When used in random test for employee drug testing at workplaces, it tests for 10-12 drugs which makes it difficult for employees to clear the test. Many multi panel drug test cups are available with attached temperature strip which makes it difficult to tamper and maintains integrity of sample.

Multi panel drug tests are set to SAMHSA cut-off levels for drug concentration. Various multi panel drug tests for oral fluids are non-invasive, provide quick results, and useful for onsite testing. However, the multi panel drug tests provide only preliminary analytical results and for confirmatory purposes the samples should be send for Gas Chromatography\Mass Spectrometry (GC\MS) test.

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The standard drugs most employers test for.

March 29, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

Most employers utilize a standard five-panel test of “street drugs,” consisting of Marijuana (THC), Cocaine, PCP, Opiates (such as codeine and morphine) and Amphetamines (including methamphetamine). Some employers use a ten-panel test, which includes prescription drugs that are legal to possess and use. Employers can also test for alcohol.

Although each drug and person is different, most drugs will stay in the system for 2-4 days. For chronic users of certain drugs, such a marijuana or PCP, results can be detected for up to 14 days, and sometimes much longer. Sedatives, such as Valium, may stay in the system for up to 30 days. When the more expensive hair testing method is used, drugs can be detected for a 90-day period. To avoid the complications from “second hand” marijuana smoke, most labs will set a higher threshold before reporting THC in the system.

Most employers will insist that a job applicant give the urine sample within a specific period of time, so that a drug user does not wait until the drugs leave the system. Some drug experts consider a drug test to be an IQ test—taking a test knowing there are drugs in the system is not a sign of great intelligence. Laboratories and collection sites also have ways to determine if the applicant has attempted to alter the test sample.

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