Drug testing for MDMA is necessary for early detection because of the potential for its abuse. The adverse effects it poses resulting from chronic use have not been well established. Still, many health professionals believe that long-term use can cause permanent neurological and health problems. The question is – what can cause a false positive in an MDMA drug test?
What is MDMA
MDMA or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception. It is commonly known as Molly or Ecstasy.
This illegal drug is similar to hallucinogens and stimulants and causes an increase in the release of chemicals in the brain, namely, Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine. The drug’s action will cause the user to experience euphoria, increased energy, increased sensory perception, and sexual arousal. Users will feel the acute effects thirty minutes after taking the drug and peaks within one to two hours.
How widely-used is MDMA?
MDMA first gained popularity as a party drug, and its use has spread to a broader range of settings over the years. Abuse of this drug has become a common problem in workplaces, schools, and athletic organizations. In some companies and private corporations, the purpose of regular drug testing may result to lower employees’ insurance costs, increase productivity, minimize absenteeism and create a safe environment for work.
In the United States, a national survey conducted on Drug Use and Health show that more than 18 million people in their lifetime have tried MDMA at least once.
A survey from 2009 to 2019 conducted among an estimated 70,000 participants ranging from 12 years old above, the statistics show that approximately 2.54 million people had used MDMA in 2019.
In schools, statistics in the US show that trends in the prevalence of MDMA for 8th graders had a slight 0.2 percent increase from 2017 to 2020. Conversely, a decrease of 0.2 percent and 1.3 percent among 10th and 12th graders, respectively, from the same period, has been noted.
What can cause a false positive in an MDMA drug test?
Several reported drug testing cases for MDMA on patients taking medications have tested positive for the substance but have not taken it, which leads to a false-positive result. Here are several common over-the-counter and prescription drugs that can cause this result for Molly or ecstasy.
Tradozone is a drug classified as an antidepressant. It is used in patients with anxiety disorder, major depression, and, in conjunction with other medicines, alcohol dependence. It acts by restoring the balance of the brain chemical Serotonin. Dosages of 3 μg/mL(m-CPP) have resulted in a false-positive urinary drug screen for MDMA.
Mebeverine is a drug used to treat acute symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, which is a condition that causes an intestinal spasm. It acts by causing the muscles of the intestine to relax and also relieves bloating. At dosages of 405 milligrams, false-positive urine drug screens for MDMA have been reported while on this medication.
Metoprolol is used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain due to lack of blood flow to the heart, and conditions that cause abnormal rapid heart rate. In some rare cases, this drug has been reported to show a positive result for MDMA tests at low concentrations ( 150 μg/mL ).
Fenofibric acid is a medication used to treat abnormal blood lipid levels. It works by decreasing levels of bad cholesterol( LDL or low-density lipoprotein ), total cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing good cholesterol ( HDL or high-density lipoprotein ). Several false-positive ecstasy screening tests resulted from a single dose of 267 milligrams while on this antihyperlipidemic drug.
It is necessary to inform your healthcare provider if you are taking any of these medications when undergoing any drug test.