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 it’s true that adding a few drops of Visine in a urine sample might help in fooling 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.
How Visine Helps You to Beat a Drug Test
Before delving deeper into how Visine alters drug tests 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 help in lowering 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 is mandating 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 simply indicate whether you are positive or negative for the drugs that you are tested for.
They don’t indicate the concentration level of the metabolites, 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, then using Visine as a dilution method might not work. This is because the few drops added to the sample will not only interfere with the concentration of the drug metabolites, but they will also alter the temperature of the specimen.
In the laboratory, even the basic EMIT tests will detect the slightest variations in the temperature range of the urine. 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 are known to 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 create 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
There are a lot of studies that have been carried out to prove that Visine does help in creating 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 from 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 aqueous solvent component of the eye drop while the other is ‘trapped in the hydrophobic interior of the benzalkonium chloride micelles. Consequently, there are very little metabolites left for detection in antibody-based assays.
However, it’s important to note that the use of Visine to falsify urine tests 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 ingredients in eye drop 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 to 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 National Institutes of Health. This study aimed at analyzing the mechanism through which 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 have any effects on 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 was able to 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 solubility of drug 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 that 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.
0 10 20 50 100 200 300 9-carboxy-THC con.
100 52 43 47 35 85 87
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, it’s evident that doubling the concentration of Visine had a very little 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 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?
It’s evident that adding eye drops into a urine specimen might help in skirting the results to your favor. There are 2 major strengths to this method.
First, when added to a urine sample, Visine only interferes with the temperature range of the urine 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 then, 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 in case of a false positive and your specimen is 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 in relation the concentration of THC metabolites in the urine.
Moreover, with the increased attempts to fool urine tests with eye drops, most employers have now put it clear 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.
Dilution remains our number one recommended method if you need to pass an oncoming test. This method is inexpensive and less risky and works all the time if done the right way. Click here for a guide on how to dilute your urine to pass a test without raising suspicion.