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J Anal Toxicol. 2008 May;32(4):315-8.

Failure of amoxicillin to produce false-positive urine screens for cocaine metabolite.

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Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.


Amoxicillin has been causally linked in the lay and medical literature to false-positive urine drug screens for cocaine metabolites. An exhaustive search of the peer-reviewed medical literature revealed no data to support this link. We hypothesized that amoxicillin does not cause false-positive urine drug screens for cocaine metabolites. To test this hypothesis, we examined the urine of 33 subjects administered a course of amoxicillin, subjecting the specimens to four common urine screening immunoassays. Thirty-one specimens were negative for the cocaine metabolite, benzoylecgonine (BE), by all four screening methods; two were positive for BE by all four screening methods. Both positive specimens were confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for the presence of BE at > 150 ng/mL. Three specimens that screened negative, but produced absorbance values that were intermediate between negative and positive controls, were submitted for GC-MS analysis; BE was detected in all three specimens at concentrations of 54, 94, and 119 ng/mL. Twenty-eight specimens produced screening results indistinguishable from negative controls. Within the limitations of the study design, we conclude that amoxicillin is unlikely to produce false-positive urine screens for cocaine metabolites.

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