Can Diet Pills Cause A Positive Drug Test?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not diet, or weight loss pills, are associated with failed drug tests for methamphetamine or amphetamine.

Question

I would like to know what I would of taken to trigger a positive urine test for methamphetamine and amphetamine. I was taking diet pills Wellbutrin, allergy pills and nasal spray.

Asked by Tdk On May 02, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On May 04, 2018

Diet PillsThere is certainly a chance that your diet pills were the cause of your failed drug test. Dietary supplements are not tested for their contents, purity and potency prior to sale and marketing of the products. The FDA typically only takes action on dietary supplements if there is a clear abuse of marketing health claims or they receive complaints about adverse events.


The lack of FDA oversight and the dubious label claims of over the counter supplements is well noted. Many studies have pointed out that a large number of dietary supplements do not contain the listed ingredients or contain adulterants or unlisted ingredients. One of the more recent well known actions that resulted from these studies are the cease and desist letters the New York attorney general sent out to various supplement retailers for false labeling claims.


The FDA as well sends our numerous warning letters every year to supplements manufacturers for products that contain unlisted, or adulterated ingredients.


In regard to amphetamine or methamphetamine specifically, there have been reports of diet pills containing these substances, or similar stimulant products that could possibility result in a positive test. For example, ephedra, which was banned in 2004, was known to cause positive tests for amphetamine. Although banned, supplements are still being reported for adding it as an unlisted ingredient.


Even if a diet pill doesn't contain amphetamine or methamphetamine specifically, urine drug tests are notorious for false-positives due to cross-reactivity of similar drug molecules. For example, Wellbutrin (bupropion), desipramine, phenylephrine and ranitidine have all been reported to cause false-positives for methamphetamine on drug tests.


So while it's difficult to definitively say whether or not your diet pill resulted in a positive methamphetamine drug test, that is certainly a possibility. If you are going to be taking over the counter diet pills, be sure to at least stick with reputable manufacturers.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor Of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in several publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any questions or want to connect! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com; Office: 716-389-3076

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