What Medications Can Cause a False Positive Pregnancy Test?

You may get a false positive result when using at-home pregnancy tests. It is common and can happen for several reasons such as wrong time of testing or the poor quality of the test kit. Several factors, including pollution of the sample or wrong operations of the doctor, can even affect the result of a pregnancy test performed on blood. Sometimes, certain medications can affect your result, so what are these medications?

What Medications Can Cause a False Positive Pregnancy Test?

  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) Hormone: If you are suffering from irregular ovulation or lack of ovulation, your doctor may give you HCG injections to help make conception easy. The pregnancy test works by measuring the levels of HCG hormone in your body. However, the levels of this hormone may go up when you are receiving HCG injections, which can cause a false positive result. 
  • Antiepileptic or Anticonvulsants: Drugs such as barbiturates, bromides, benzodiazepines, fructose derivatives, fatty acids, triazines, primidone, GABA analogs, and other anticonvulsants can also affect the accuracy of your pregnancy test.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medication and Tranquilizers: These types of medications can push the levels of HCG hormones up, which can give you a false test result. This is usually more common with prescription anti-anxiety medications, such as azapirones, benzodiazepines, and hydroxyzine. Psychosis management requires antipsychotics, such as chlorpromazine, droperidol, triflupromazine and clozapine, which can also affect your pregnancy test.
  • Anti-Parkinson Medications: Women who are taking anti-Parkinson medications should keep in mind that these medications increase the levels of HCG in urine and can cause a false positive pregnancy test. Some of the most common drugs used to treat Parkinson's include tyrosine, phenylalanine, and anticholinergics such as scopolamine and benztropine.
  • Diuretics: What medications can cause a false positive pregnancy test? The answer should include some diuretics, such as furosemide, thiazides, spironolactone, and osmotic diuretics, like glucose and mannitol. These diuretics help increase the urine output and can affect your pregnancy test.
  • Promethazine: Used to treat motion sickness, allergies, and vomiting, promethazine has a strong sedative effect and is capable of producing misleading pregnancy test results.

Note: Since these above mentioned medications affect HCG levels in the urine, it is therefore important to stop taking these medications for a while before taking a pregnancy test.

Other Factors That Can Cause a False Positive Pregnancy Test

What medications can cause a false positive pregnancy test? You already know the answer, but you should also know that many other factors can also affect your pregnancy result.

1. Using Pregnancy Test Improperly

Not using your pregnancy kit properly may result in false positives. You need to read the instructions mentioned on the kit carefully before taking a test. This is important because different test measures the levels of HCG in a different way.

2. Not Reading Test Results in a Timely Manner

Keep in mind that pregnancy test results are effective for a short while only. If you read the result after a long time, your urine will dry, leaving evaporation lines on it. In this condition, it's hard to recognize whether you are pregnant or not. It is therefore important to read your results within the time frame mentioned on the kit.

3. Contaminated Urine Sample

The presence of any impurities in your urine sample may also cause a false positive pregnancy test. It could happen when the sample is contaminated with detergent, soap, or even blood. Not cleaning the cup that comes with certain pregnancy test kits can also cause contamination of the urine sample and affect your results. The presence of blood can also affect your pregnancy test and is usually an indication of bladder infections or kidney disease.

4. Medical Conditions

Ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy, menopause, and many other medical conditions can also cause false positives. Some rare medical conditions, such as a trophoblastic tumor that forms due to problems with the fertilization of an egg, can cause misleading results.

5. Chemical Pregnancy

It refers to an early pregnancy loss. You usually conceive and become pregnant after the implantation takes place. This increases HCG in your body. Unfortunately, sometimes the pregnancy fails to go any further and a miscarriage happens. If you take a pregnancy test during this period, you may still have high HCG in your system, leading to a false positive result. You usually experience this problem due to genetically abnormal pregnancies.

6. Defective Pregnancy Tests

Some women do not pay attention to the expiration date mentioned on pregnancy tests. Using an expired kit can cause false positives. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are not using faulty or expired pregnancy kits to get accurate results.

Note: What medications can cause a false positive pregnancy test? Now you know the answer, and it is important to talk to your doctor when you are not sure if you are really pregnant or have received false positives. You may also repeat the test to see if you still get the same result. 

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