Q:

What can cause false positives for benzodiazepines?

A:

Some drugs, such as tolmetin, naproxen, etodolac, fenoprofen, oxaprozin and sertraline, can create a false positive for benzodiazepines on a drug screening, according to the St. John Providence Health System. A benzodiazepines urine test is used to determine an overdose of these drugs and is typically administered when a patient shows signs of overdose, such as slurred speech, confusion, lack of coordination or unconsciousness.

A benzodiazepine urine test detects benzodiazepines using metabolites, or the product they break down into in the body, according to the St. John Providence Health System. While the test is relevant in simply detecting benzodiazepines in the system, most benzodiazepines urine tests cannot detect the actual amount in the body. Additionally, there are several kinds of benzodiazepines that are commonly not detected in urine tests, including alprazolam, clonazepam, temazepam and triazolam. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that are most often prescribed to help with sleeping, control seizures, sedate patients, ease anxiety and quell muscle spasms. They are commonly called tranquilizers, muscle relaxants and sleeping pills. Benzodiazepines are also used illegally, can become extremely addictive, and when combined with alcohol, can be fatal. A toxicology screening for benzodiazepines also includes tests for opiods, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine and phencyclidine.


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