How to pass a drug test when you’re testing positive: OTC Medications

over the counter meds that cause false positive on drug tests

I am an OTC. I could cause you to fail a drug test :(

A lot of people know that over the counter medications (OTCs) can cause a false positive on a drug test, but there are also a lot of myths out there about which ones really do. Even still, you need to have a good reason to be tested for some OTCs, even if you can get them without a prescription, because the amount of them you’d often have to take in order for them to cause a false positive would be… a whole lot.

Of the most common drugs mistaken for marijuana when trying to pass a drug test, NSAIDs like ibuprofen, but stronger, are the cause. According to, proton pump inhibitors are also the cause of positive THC drug tests for many people who have never touched marijuana in their lives, and proving that this is the cause is often a pyric victory, as employers and prospective employers only take the time to get the results of a drug test from a lab, and won’t even contact a potential employee after results have come in to question why they may have tested positive for THC. And even if they did, most people on the hunt for a job are not likely to know that their medication (prescribed by a doctor or over the counter) is causing the positive THC result of their urinalysis.

In addition to those trying to pass a drug test while on completely legitimate and harmless medications like Naproxen, others who have a legal prescription for medicinal marijuana are in the same, or perhaps an even worse boat. Why? Because even when a doctor approves and prescribes marijuana to a legal medicinal marijuana card holder, companies have the right to deny employment based on a positive drug test for THC. While this may not seem fair to some, many employers feel that passing a drug test is a primary and essential part of employment which they deem not just necessary, but a way of protecting themselves against hiring people who may not show up for work, or who may perform below the bar when compared to their non-marijuana-prescribed counterparts.

According to the Oxford Journals, in addition to some NSAIDs and medicinal marijuana, medicines for nausea such as Marinol and Drobinal, as well as the drug Sustiva (generally prescribed to AIDS patients) can also be the cause of false positives on a marijuana drug test.

To pass a drug test for any of these, be sure to do a full body cleanse with the direction of a doctor, or for those who feel comfortable disclosing the use of these medications to potential employers, let them know ahead of time so no surprises pop up at the lab.


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