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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Kidney disease and cocaine false positive



Hello, I am writing in to help out a family member of mine. He has kidney disease(not sure of the name of it) and just got a false positive drug test result for cocaine. Problem is, he doesn`t use Cocaine, or any legal drug. He will most likely lose his job if he cannot defend his innocence. He and I have read on a number of different websites(netwellness.org being one of them) that kidney disease can lead to a false positive, and he said this to the doctor at the testing agency(it`s a government agency. He is tested through the DOT.) The doctor there told him that there is no way kidney disease can affect the outcome of the test.

To make a longer story short, I need to know if there are any quotable sources or studies by a reputable organization on this topic that someone can help point me to. Essentially I need something stronger than hearsay.

I could really use your help, thank you so much.


Thank you for your question.  After an extensive primary literature search, there is little to no evidence stating that kidney disease can lead to false positive results for cocaine.

Find out what specific test was done to screen for cocaine. Some tests are more accurate than others. Ask for a GM/MassSpec confirmatory test. This test is highly accurate and will very likely give the correct result.

There have been similar questions posted on NetWellness. Please check the link below for more information.

Submitted by: Scott Valentine, PharmD Candidate. The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy

Related Resources:

False positive for cocaine

For more information:

Go to the Addiction and Substance Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jill RK Griffith, RPh, PharmD, CSPI
Clinical Assistant Professor
College of Pharmacy
University of Cincinnati