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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 1, 2005

Rifampicin Causes False-Positive Immunoassay Results for Urine Opiates

  • Marta de Paula , Luis C. Saiz , Joaquín González-Revaldería , Tomás Pascual , Carmen Alberola and Elena Miravalles
From the journal


The treatment of tuberculosis usually includes the antibiotic rifampicin, especially in patients with concomitant human immunodeficiency virus infection. Some of these patients are in withdrawal therapy for drug abuse. When opiate screening is carried out in patients receiving rifampicin, false positive results are detected with the kinetic interaction of microparticles in solution method. We evaluated this interference in a Cobas-Integra analyzer and found a 12% cross-reactivity of rifampicin for antibiotic concentrations ranging from 0.19 to 6.08 μmol/l (156 to 5000 μg/l). This effect is not explained by the colour of the rifampicin solutions. Calculations assuming first order kinetics of elimination show that more than 18 hours after a single oral dose of 600 mg of rifampicin, a false positive result for opiates could be obtained. This indicates that the risk of a false positive result must always be considered when urine samples from these patients are analyzed.

Published Online: 2005-06-01
Published in Print: 1998-04-30

Copyright © 1998 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG

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