Can Eye Drops Help You Pass a Drug Test? Know Facts from Fictions
Beating a urine drug test isn’t an easy task. And that’s why most people tend to be skeptical at first about the idea of adding eye drops to urine to fool a test.
That sounds way too simple and almost impractical, right?
But adding a few drops of Visine in a urine sample might indeed help fool the test by causing a false negative for THC, opiates, and some other drugs.
However, this technique is, hands down, risky, and we’d never advocate for it.
In this article, I’ll be explaining how to use eye drops to pass a drug test and the scientific rationale of how and why it works.
Table of Contents
How Visine Helps You to Beat a Drug Test
Before delving deeper into how Visine alters drug test results, it’s important to note that almost any other eye drop brand will do.
It’s only that Visine is the most commonly used.
You could get it at any drug store near you or from Amazon for less than ten bucks.
There are two ways through which eye drops work to help you beat a test;
- Diluting the drug metabolites
- Hiding the THC metabolites to create a false negative
Diluting the Drug Metabolites
Using Visine to cheat a urine test requires that you add a few drops directly into the urine sample (it should never be ingested).
As you do this, you’ll simply be adding more liquid into the sample, thereby bringing the concentration of the drug metabolites down.
If done successfully, this might lower the concentration to below the cut-off level, thereby skewing the results to your favor.
Will this work?
Whether using Visine eye drops as a dilution method will work or not depends on the type of test that you’ll be subjected to.
Whoever mandates you to take a urinary drug test might either use basic Home Drug Test strips for the test or send your specimen to the lab.
You’ll be in luck if they’ll be using Home Drug Tests. These tests indicate whether you are positive or negative for the drugs that you are tested for.
They don’t indicate the metabolites’ concentration level, and neither do they test for other important urine components such as the creatinine level and specific gravity that might be affected by dilution.
This means that you might easily pass the test if you have diluted the urine enough.
The other advantage here is that Home Drug Tests don’t use complex tools.
Therefore, the risk of false positives is highly reduced too.
If the drug testing company is sending your sample to the lab, using Visine as a dilution method might not work.
This is because the few drops added to the sample will interfere with the concentration of the drug metabolites, but they will also alter the specimen’s temperature.
Even the basic EMIT tests will detect the slightest variations in the temperature range of the urine in the laboratory.
If the lab technicians are convinced that you’ve intentionally diluted the specimen, the results may come out as FAILED due to adulteration, or they may be required to do a GCMS test if they are paid to do so.
Hiding the drug metabolites to create a false negative
Other than dilution, Visine and other eye drop brands hide the drug metabolites in urine, thereby making them less available for detection in tests.
The way Visine works here is a little bit complex and fascinating at the same time.
It is said that Benzalkonium chloride, the main active ingredient in Visine, together with the aqueous solution of the eye drop, creates hydrophobic and hydrophilic layers where they trap the drug metabolites.
This makes them almost invisible during detection, thereby leading to a false negative.
Visine Will Help create a False Negative: Scientific Evidence.
A lot of studies have been carried out to prove that Visine does help create a false negative during urine drug tests.
One of the most commonly referred works of literature is Dr. Amitava Dasgupta’s work: A Health Educator’s Guide to Understanding Drugs of Abuse Testing.
This guide lists Visine as the only over-the-counter drug that can be successfully used to invalidate immunoassays when testing for drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and opiates, among other drugs.
Referring to a previous study that had been carried out to analyze the effects of Visine eye drop on drug screening and how mechanism involved, Dr. Amitava notes that in low concentrations, Visine causes a false-negative because of its key active ingredient: benzalkonium chloride.
This study suggests that when several drops of Visine are added into a urine sample, a portion of the marijuana metabolites (THC-COOH) is hidden in the eye drop’s aqueous solvent component. Simultaneously, the other is ‘trapped in the hydrophobic interior of the benzalkonium chloride micelles.
Consequently, there are very few metabolites left for detection in antibody-based assays.
However, it’s important to note that the use of Visine to falsify urine test results only works with EMIT and FPIA (Fluorescence Polarization Immunoassay) tests.
But it won’t be of any help in a GC/MS test. This study states that in a GC/MS test, the eye drop ingredients won’t have any effect or modification in the THC metabolites available in a urine specimen.
This means that you’ll fail the test, especially if you’ve had an encounter with marijuana in the last 2-3 weeks.
Fortunately, most labs rely on EMIT test credit for its simplicity regarding the equipment needed.
They only refer to GC/MS as a confirmatory test after you’ve tested positive with an EMIT test.
These findings are confirmed by yet another 1989 research experiment whose findings were published on the National Institutes of Health.
This study aimed to analyze how Visine eye drops lead to a false-negative in urine cannabinoid immunoassay screens.
In this experiment, the researchers added the following drugs to drug-free urine specimens to a concentration level twice the cut-off level of each: 9-carboxy-THC, morphine, oxazepam, secobarbital, amphetamine, benzoylecgonine, and phencyclidine.
Visine was later added into the specimens before being screened for the drugs using EMIT and GC/MS tests.
The results showed that Visine led to a decrease in the concentration levels of all the drugs.
However, false-negative results were obtained for 9-carboxy-THC only. Also, only EMIT screen tests gave false-negative results for cannabinoids.
This study also affirms that Visine did not affect the detection of the 9-carboxy-THC in the urine specimen using the GCMS tests.
These researchers went ahead and wanted to determine whether the benzalkonium chloride micelles of Visine were responsible for the ‘absence’ of the cannabinoids in these tests.
To do this, they referred to ultrafiltration studies where a urine sample with 9-carboxy-THC was applied to a centrifugal filtration system.
In the absence of Visine, it was found out that 60% of the 9-carboxy-THC passed through the membrane.
However, when Visine was added to the sample, only 10% of the drug could get through the membrane.
What does this mean?
The molar mass of a molecule of 9-carboxy-THC is 344.44 g/mol. As such, and as expected, free and unassociated 9-carboxy-THC passes freely through a filter membrane with a molecular mass cut-off of 1000 Da.
The fact that the drug’s solubility decreases by 6 folds when Visine is added only proves that the drug has an association with the Benzalkonium chloride micelles of Visine.
How much Visine is required to cause false-negative results in a urine drug test?
When trying to beat a urine drug test with any adulterant, knowing the exact amount of adulterant that you need to use is paramount.
The Visine method is not exempted.
Most people think it’s necessary to add as much Visine eye drops into the cup to guarantee a pass.
This is where they get it wrong.
The researchers in the study above actually found out that adding a lot of Visine into the urine did the opposite.
It did not take the concentration levels of the drug to below the cut-off.
Check out the table below.
As the results above indicate, 100 milliliters of Visine per liter of urine was required to cut the 9-carboxy-THC to 35ug/L, which is an incredibly safer level for you.
However, doubling the concentration of Visine had minimal effect on the concentration of the 9-carboxy-THC in the urine specimen.
The researchers concluded that exactly 100 milliliters of Visine would be required to create a false negative in a test where the specimen has 100ug/L.
So, considering that most labs accept the utmost 60ml of urine during a test, you would need to add in 6ml of Visine to thwart the results.
Anything above this starts dwindling your odds of beating the test, as the table above proves.
Does adding eye drops to a urine sample help pass a drug test today?
Adding eye drops into a urine specimen might help in skirting the results to your favor. There are 2 major strengths in this method.
First, when added to a urine sample, Visine only interferes with the urine temperature range but does not alter the concentration levels of other important urine components; ph, specific gravity, and creatinine.
Therefore, if you can manage to ensure that the Visine is at par with your body temperature before adding it in, it might guarantee a sure pass.
The second plus with this method is that Visine components are not detectable by routine urine integrity analysis.
This decreases the odds of being flagged even further.
Why we don’t recommend it
Albeit promising, we would not recommend you to rely on eye drops if you have to pass that urine test.
This method has a few grey areas that make it a risky and difficult venture. First off, remember that the study above was carried out close to 3 decades ago.
Although Visine fooled the EMIT assays, these tests have been improved over time, and it might not work.
Secondly, the eye drops method only works with EMIT immunoassays.
This means that if a false positive and your specimen are forwarded for a GC/MS screen for confirmation, the chances of beating it are close to zero.
Thirdly, as the research findings above show, to beat a THC drug test using Visine, you’ll need to be exact on the ratio of Visine added concerning the concentration of THC metabolites in the urine.
Moreover, with the increased attempts to fool urine tests with eye drops, most employers have now clarified that anyone who shows up for a test with Visine in their pockets will be subjected to an observed test.
Passing a urine drug test using Visine might have been viable a few decades ago, but it might not cut it today.
Instead, I recommend using detox products that were proven to work: https://greenfleets.org.