Methylphenidate drug test false positive, why?

Methylphenidate drug test false positive

What influences Methylphenidate drug test false positive?

In order to answer this question we need to go a bit into detail and figure out what Methylphenidate is and what are its characteristics. As a prescription drug it is mostly used to treat ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. When it is used correctly it can help control impulse movements, as well as provide increased concentration.

This ADHD drug is tested with special methylphenidate drug tests because of its tendency to cause tolerance. When a tolerance for a drug is created it means that bigger doses are needed for the same effect. This in turn can lead to addiction, Methylphenidate is not as addictive as other ADHD drugs, it can, however, cause addiction if used for too long or in great doses.

How does Methylphenidate work ?

People suffering from ADHD can have unusually low levels of dopamine in their system. Dopamine is important for younger people as well as adults as it regulates reward and motivation in everyday life. If this crucial aspekt is off balance then problems appear. Methylphenidate increases dopamine levels in the brain and helps solve this problem. Given that it activates in the brain it can show up on methylphenidate drug tests for some time.

When Methylphenidate is abused it produces a dopamine build up, this leads to excitement and can even cause euphoria in some cases. The drug is metabolized out of your system through the liver and through urine. It is because of this that traces of the drug can be found on special methylphenidate drug tests.

Methylphenidate, the overall picture

This unique ADHD prescription drug is used regularly in the US. The prescriptions in 2017 alone number up to 16 million. A large proportion of this number were adults, while the majority were children. Workplace methylphenidate drug testings also regularly find people who use the drug.

According to a 2014 research paper an ever increasing number of adults are using Methylphenidate and other ADHD prescription drugs. The reason for this increase is unknown, however it is alarming as the drug can cause addiction. Cleaning up your system from Methylphenidate is a slow process and the sudden drop in dopamine can cause severe side effects.

How long does Methylphenidate stay in your system ?

There are several factors that influence how long Methylphenidate will stay in your system. The half life of the drug is different for adults and children but it stays within the range of 2.5 and 3.5 hours. A drug’s half life is how long a half dose of a drug takes to metabolize in an average person’s system. This helps us determine how long a drug will stay inside your blood flow.

Several lifestyle decisions also influence how long Methylphenidate will persist inside your system. Knowing these factors will help you determine whether traces of the drug will show up on a methylphenidate drug test. The factors range from body weight to frequency of drug intake and they all have different effects. Here are the factors:

  1. Your height and weight – Drugs usually connect to body fat, so your weight and height can help out and influence how much fat there is to grab on to the drugs.
  2. Activity levels – Greater activity levels have shown to build up metabolism, a nicely built up metabolism will help shorten the metabolization time.
  3. Metabolism – A healthy metabolism is crucial in everyday life, however it is even more important when it comes to drugs. You need to have a good metabolism to get the drug cleared out.
  4. Body mass index – As mentioned before, drugs have a tendency to grab on to fat in your body, this process makes it far harder for the body to metabolize the drug out of your system.

Other factors that influence how long a drug stays in your system include:

  1. Your age – As people age their metabolism starts slowing down, their kidneys and liver start to reduce how much they metabolise and this can really slow down metabolization of drugs.
  2. Kidney and liver function – The kidneys and the liver are the main organs for metabolising anything. They are the ones who help clear out your system from drug traces, keeping them healthy is therefore crucial.
  3. The drug you take – Methylphenidate is different from other drugs, as is each drug, each drug will have certain rules as to how they clean out of your system. With some research you can find out how long each drug can metabolise.
  4. Drug dose – A more frequent intake of drugs as well as larger doses of a certain drug make it far harder for your system to metabolise and clear the drug out.

Drug tests that test for Methylphenidate in particular can mark traces of the drug in a person’s system rather easily. This is compounded when the test is taken within the timeframe where the drug has not yet metabolized.

False Positive, Methylphenidate

Methylphenidate drug tests can test as a false positive, although it is not often it can help to know why this is. . This happens when there are also traces of Amphetamine and Methamphetamine as well as LSD in your system. In these situations the test is repeated and double checked. Finding traces of the aforementioned drugs in your system can also be dangerous.

Lsd, Meth and Amphetamine all cause addiction as well as severe damage to brain function. Addiction is treatable in almost all cases, however, the experience is rather uncomfortable and traumatic. It is generally advised to follow prescriptions provided by doctors and use these drugs only as medicine.


Whether or not Methylphenidate will show up on a Methylphenidate drug test depends on several different factors. If you need some personal testing done in order to see if you have traces of Methylphenidate (or any of the other drugs mentioned in the post) in your system you can purchase drug testing devices for personal use or for workplace testing If there is a test upcoming in your workplace, stop taking Methylphenidate right away.

If you’re worried about your intake of Methylphenidate consider talking to a healthcare provider!

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