Rumors the ranitidine causes false positives for meth in drug screening have circulated for years, however the problems under which this would take place are incredibly rare.

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Published7 February 2018

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Zantac (ranitidine) or comparable acid reflux medications cause users come falsely test optimistic for meth use.
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What"s TrueStudies that a now discontinued urine experimentation protocol because that amphetamines did show that, under rarely and specific circumstances, false positives might be caused by the mountain reflux medication Zantac (ranitidine); over there is, as well, limited evidence of similar false positives using one test still top top the market, yet the occurrence is rarely and likewise subject to certain conditions.


What"s False

Zantac, ranitidine, or various other related medications consistently reason false positives on medicine tests.


In 2016, a case that use of the over-the-counter acid reflux medication Zantac (ranitidine) had developed a false positive an outcome for methamphetamines showed up on social media; that case resurfaced again in 2018.

As a followup come this report, researchers conducted a rather larger-scale examine in 1991 to investigate the possibility of false positives. Castle concluded that, while possible, it required extremely specific circumstance:

We have confirmed that ranitidine can provide a positive result with the monoclonal EMIT d.a.u, assay, however this occurs only with high pee levels current in a tiny percentage of patients in ~ a short duration of time after a ranitidine dose.

Beckman Coulter AMPH assay is still prone to significant interference with ranitidine, presumably because of antibody cross-reactivity, whereas the Siemens EMIT II plus assay is free from together interference.

The possible mechanism because that false positives, in both cases, is no the chemistry similarity the Zantac come amphetamines, yet through the existence of unintended reactions in between Zantac and also the chemicals expected to connect with amphetamines, a difficulty known as cross-reactivity, i m sorry is described in a 2004 evaluation on the topic:

Substances that transform the measurable concentration of the analyte in the sample or alter antibody binding have the right to potentially an outcome in assay interference. Analysis interference is characterized as the result of a substance current in the sample that changes the correct worth of the result.

With this information in mind, we rate the case that Zantac reasons false positives because that methamphetamine a mixture because, when there stays a possibility that at least one test on the market can conceivably develop a false confident for amphetamines indigenous Zantac, the conditions that call for such a an outcome are rare and most tests perform not suffer from this potential problem. Additionally, the check that produced the most attention in terms of potential false positives is no longer in constant use.


Grinstead, Gregory F. “Ranitidine and High concentration ofPhenylpropanolamlne Cross react in the EMIT Monoclonal Amphetamine/Methamphetamine Assay.” Clinical Chemistry. September 1989.


Poklis, Alphonse, et al. “Ranitidine Interference v the Monoclonal EMIT d.a.u.Amphetamin ethamphetamine Immunoassay.” Journal of analytical Toxicology. In march 1991.


Liu, L., et al. “Ranitidine Interference with Standard Amphetamine Immunoassay.” Clinical Chimica Acta. 19 September 2015.

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Tate, Jill, and Ward, Gred. “Interferences in Immunoassay.” The Clinical Biochemist Reviews. May 2004.