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Eur J Emerg Med. 2006 Dec;13(6):340-1.

Coca tea consumption causes positive urine cocaine assay.

Author information

1
Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Washington 98105, USA. suzan.mazor@seattlechildrens.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Coca tea, derived from the same plant that is used to synthesize cocaine, is commonly consumed in South America and easily obtained in the United States.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether consumption of coca tea would result in a positive urine toxicology screen for cocaine metabolites.

METHODS:

Five healthy adult volunteers consumed coca tea and underwent serial quantitative urine testing for cocaine metabolites by fluorescence polarization immunoassay. The cutoff for a positive assay was chosen at 300 ng/ml, the National Institute on Drug Abuse standard.

RESULTS:

Each participant's urine cocaine assay was positive (level exceeding 300 ng/ml) by 2 h after ingestion. Three out of five participants' samples remained positive at 36 h. Mean urine benzoylecgonine concentrations in all postconsumption samples was 1777 ng/ml (95% confidence interval: 1060-2495).

CONCLUSIONS:

Coca tea ingestion resulted in a positive urine assay for cocaine metabolite. Healthcare professionals should consider a history of coca tea ingestion when interpreting urine toxicology results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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