What Can Cause a MDMA False Positive

Ecstasy and Molly are two common names referring to a highly addicted drug known as MDMA. MDMA is chemically known as 3,4-methylenedioxy-methMDMA, which means that it is an MDMA-derivative. MDMA modulates the levels of 3 hormones in the brain, including dopamine, serotonin, and nor-epinephrine, MDMA has properties of both stimulants and hallucinogens.

Therefore, MDMA administration results in euphoria, affecting both mood and perception, decreasing fatigue, and feeling energetic and emotionally-warm. That’s why drug tests are much concerned about MDMA detection.

What Can Cause an MDMA False Positive

  • Some anti-depressants, including Trazodone and Bupropion.
  • Drugs similar to MDMA, including Benzphetamine and Phentermine
  • Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray
  • Diethylpropion-containing drugs
  • Asthma medications
  • Clobenzorex-containing drugs
  • Some decongestants and anti-histaminic drugs, including Ephedrine nasal inhaler,
  • Phenylpropanolamine, Promethazine, Brompheniramine, and Pseudoephedrine.
  • Metformin-containing anti-diabetics
  • Methylphenidate-containing drugs

Why do those drugs cause a false positive

The majority of drug tests detect MDMA in the system through certain types of assays, which sometimes are not able to specifically detect MDMA itself. Instead, those tests work, depending on a structure-based technique that detects not only MDMA-containing drugs; but also all drugs having structures similar to those of MDMA, causing a false positive.

How long can those drugs cause a false positive

As long as those drugs or their metabolites are still in your system, they are likely to cause an MDMA false positive. So, in case you’re administering/ or you have administered any of those drugs, the proper question should be: how long can those drugs stay in the system?


Trazodone is an antidepressant drug indicated to treat the major depressive disorder. Oleptro, Desyrel and Desyrel Dividose are examples of common brands containing Trazodone.

The half-life of Trazodone ranges initially from 3 to 6 hours and finally from 5 to 9 hours. Therefore, up to 2.25 days or longer post-administration, Trazodone-containing drugs can stay in your system.


Bupropion is an antidepressant drug used to help lose weight, ease smoking cessation, as well as treating two types of depression, including major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. Examples of drugs containing Bupropion: Aplenzin, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin SR, and Zyban.

For five days post-administration or longer, Bupropion can stay in your system; while the other substances resulting from Bupropion metabolism in the body, including hydroxybupropion, erythrohydrobupropion, and threohydrobupropion, have a half-life of 20 hours, 33 hours, and 37 hours, respectively. Therefore, up to 5 days, 8.25 days, and 9.25 days, respectively, those metabolites can stay in your system.

Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray

Oxymetazoline-containing nasal sprays are used to treat nasal congestion. It is not known how much time it takes the body to eliminate Oxymetazoline from the system.

Diethylpropion-containing drugs

Diethylpropion is a stimulant ingredient used to suppress appetite. Examples of common drugs containing diethylpropion include Amfepramone, Anorex, Delgamer, Diethylpropion, and Dietil retard.

Up to more than 36 hours post-administration, diethylpropion-containing drugs can stay in your system, as diethylpropion has a half-life of around 4-6 hours.


Brompheniramine is an antihistaminic drug commonly prescribed for symptoms of colds and flu, such as a runny nose, watery eyes, and itching. Dimetapp Cold & Allergy is an example of the brompheniramine-containing brands.

For 8.55 days post-administration, brompheniramine can stay in your system, as the half-life of brompheniramine is around 24.9 +/- 9.3 hours.

Asthma medications

Asthma medications include a broad range of ingredients and drugs. Thus, to determine how long the ones you administer can cause an MDMA false positive, it is a must first to determine what ingredients are contained in your medications?


Clobenzorex-containing drugs are used to treat anorexia, such as Asenlix, Dinintel, Finedal, and Rexigen. It is not known how much time it takes the body to eliminate Oxymetazoline from the system.


Phenylpropanolamine is a nasal decongestant used for treating the congestion resulting from hay fever, allergy, colds, and flu. Common names of drugs containing phenylpropanolamine include Cutrim 16 Hour, Acutrim II, Maximum Strength, Control, Dexatrim and Empro.

The half-life of phenylpropanolamine ranges from 2.1 to 3.4 hours. Therefore, up to 20.4 hours or longer post-administration, phenylpropanolamine-containing drugs are likely to cause an MDMA false positive.


Benzphetamine is a drug similar to dextroMDMA. Benzphetamine is used for obesity. Examples of Benzphetamine-containing brands include Didrex and Regimex.

Research shows that the half-life of Benzphetamine is around 16-31 hours; while other research shows the half-life to be around 6-12 hours. Therefore, up to more than 7.75 days or 3 days, respectively post-administration, Benzphetamine-containing drugs can stay in your system.


Phentermine is a drug indicated to treat obesity. Examples of common drugs containing phentermine include Adipex, Fastin, Ionamin, Adipex-P, Oby-Cap, Suprenza, T-Diet and Zantryl.

Up to more than 7.75 days post-administration, phentermine-containing drugs can stay in your system. The reason is that the half-life of phentermine is around 16-31 hours.


Methylphenidate is a stimulant of the central nervous system. Methylphenidate is used to treat narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Examples of common drugs containing methylphenidate: Ritalin, Aptensio XR, Concerta, Cotempla XR-ODT, and Metadate CD.

Up to 48 hours post-administration, methylphenidate or Ritalinic acid can stay in your system.

Ephedrine nasal inhaler

Ephedrine is a nasal decongestant that is taken to treat three issues, including difficulty in a breath, a stuffy nose, and wheezing. Up to 1.5 days post-administration, ephedrine can stay in your system. Furthermore, other ephedrine-containing drugs are likely to cause an MDMA false positive, such as Bronkaid.


Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant indicated to treat stuffy nose and sinus congestion. Common examples of drugs containing pseudoephedrine include Contac Cold, Drixoral, Entex and Genaphed.

The half-life of pseudoephedrine is around 9-16 hours. Thus, up to 4 days post-administration, pseudoephedrine-containing drugs can stay in your system


Metformin is an anti-diabetic ingredient indicated to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Fortamet, Glucophage, and Riomet are examples of common drugs containing metformin.

As the half-life of metformin is around 8-12 hours, metformin-containing drugs can stay in your system for up to 3-days, post-administration or longer.

Other factors

Importantly, other factors can significantly affect the results of MDMA tests. Those factors differ from a person to another, including:

  • Your age
  • Your body mass
  • The administered dosage. For example, an overdose of any of the previously-mentioned drugs undoubtedly takes a longer time to be cleared from the body.
  • Whether you’re a light or a chronic user of the previous drugs.
  • Your metabolic rate of drugs, which determines how quickly your body can get rid of those drugs.
  • The type of tests you are required to undergo, as well as the time the test is performed. Each test has a certain time frame to detect certain drugs.


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