Q and A

Question

Can HIV meds make me fail a recreational drug screening test?

I would like to know what HIV meds can produce a false positive on a drug screen.

Answer

In general, most HIV drug should have no impact on drug tests.

Efavirenz may be an exception, because when it was first approved there were reports that it might cause testing for marijuana to be false positive.

I thought that the tests used for recreational drugs had become more refined since then, but theoretically, this might still be a worry. A false positive test for marijuana can be checked using a more specific test.

The SPC leaflet (Specific Product Characteristics) for efavirenz documents this as a problem with only one make of test: “False positive test results have only been observed with the CEDIA DAU Multi-Level THC assay, which is used for screening, and have not been observed with other cannabinoid assays tested including tests used for confirmation of positive results.”

However, a more recent study reported that people taking efavirenz had a high rate of false-positive tests for benzodiazepines (including commonly used drugs like diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan). The same study found no false positive results for marijuana.

39 comments

  1. Simon Collins

    Hi Lori, without more details it is not possible to comment. HIV meds should not cause a positive result for methadone. Please talk to your doctor about a retest. If this affected your work, your doctor might be able to help.

  2. Lori

    Yes I came up positive for methodone and thc I take genvoya and do a Vick’s and nasal inhaler

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Johnny,

    Genvoya isn’t known to cause diluted urine results, however as the above post mentions other can. For how to try and avoid this, please see here:

    https://www.nationaldrugscreening.com/show-blog.php?id=410

  4. Johnny

    Hi I take Genvoya and keep getting diluted urine analysis. Is this medication causing the dilutes?

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    It should be noted however, that this won’t happen to everyone who is on Genvoya.

  6. mike

    Yes. Without a doubt. I am HIV Positive and have been for 3 years now. I take Genvoya and failed a home test just today for marijuana. (4-18-17) and I know for an absolute FACT that I don’t have THC in my system.
    I have searched all over the Internet to research this issue and strangely there is little to NOTHING written about it. But yes, let me confirm: I DO NOT have thc in my body, have not ingested it, neither smoked or orally, and yet I am positive for THC because of the HIV medication Genvoya I take every day to fight the virus

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Bian,

    It is possible to have a false positive during drug screening. Therefore, if you don’t use marijuana you should have a retest. That is if its important.

    Please see here for more info:

    http://i-base.info/qa/4797

  8. bian

    I’m using efavirenz and I’m not using marijuana. I had a drug screening test and the result was positive for marijuana.

  9. Simon Collins

    I have only seen reports about efavirenz, so this seems unlikely. Drug tests though are likely to have a margin of error and may not be 100% accurate. If you are concerned about a false positive test you could ask or this to be repeated.

  10. fb driver

    can kaletra and truvada (hiv meds) cause my drug test to be false positive?

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