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Can Valerian Root Cause a False Positive for Benzodiazepines?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

Valerian root is a popular herbal remedy for anxiety, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. But can it cause a false positive for benzodiazepines? This article will explore the potential link between valerian root and a false positive for benzodiazepines and whether there is any cause for concern when taking valerian root. We will look at the various claims and research to provide an evidence-based answer.

Can Valerian Root Cause a False Positive for Benzodiazepines?

Can Valerian Root Lead to a False Positive for Benzodiazepines?

Valerian root is widely used as a natural remedy for anxiety and sleep problems. It is a herbal supplement that has been used for centuries to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. However, there is some concern that valerian root may cause a false positive on drug tests for benzodiazepines, which are commonly prescribed for anxiety and insomnia. In this article, we will explore the potential for valerian root to cause a false positive for benzodiazepines and what to do if you suspect a false positive.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a type of prescription medication commonly used to treat anxiety and insomnia. These drugs work by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can reduce symptoms of anxiety and help people fall asleep. Commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, and Ativan.

How Can Valerian Root Cause a False Positive?

Valerian root is an herbal supplement that has been used for centuries to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. It is thought to work by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can have a calming effect. However, some studies have found that valerian root can interfere with drug tests and cause false positives for benzodiazepines. This is because valerian root contains compounds that are similar to the chemical structure of benzodiazepines. As a result, drug tests may not be able to distinguish between the two, leading to a false positive result.

What to Do if You Suspect a False Positive?

If you are taking valerian root and suspect that it may have caused a false positive for benzodiazepines on a drug test, it is important to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can order a more accurate test to confirm the results. Additionally, they may be able to provide alternative treatments for your anxiety or insomnia that do not contain benzodiazepines.

Should You Avoid Valerian Root?

Although there is some evidence that valerian root can cause a false positive for benzodiazepines on drug tests, it is generally considered to be safe for most people when used as directed. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplement, as it can interact with certain medications or medical conditions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, valerian root is a popular herbal supplement that can be used to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. However, there is some evidence that valerian root may cause a false positive for benzodiazepines on drug tests. If you are taking valerian root and are concerned about a false positive, it is important to talk to your doctor. They can help determine if a false positive has occurred and provide alternative treatments if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Valerian Root Cause a False Positive for Benzodiazepines?

Answer: Yes, valerian root can cause a false positive for benzodiazepines. Valerian root is a herb that has been used for centuries to treat sleep problems like insomnia. It contains compounds called valepotriates, which can be mistaken for benzodiazepines by drug tests. As a result, people taking valerian root may get a false positive result when tested for benzodiazepines.

What is Valerian Root?

Answer: Valerian root is an herb that has been used for centuries to treat sleep problems like insomnia. It contains compounds called valepotriates, which have sedative and calming effects. Valerian root can be taken in pill or capsule form, as tea, or as an extract. It is available in health food stores and pharmacies.

What is a Benzodiazepine?

Answer: Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that are commonly used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Common benzodiazepines include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and lorazepam (Ativan). These drugs work by increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This helps to reduce anxiety and promote sleep.

What is a False Positive?

Answer: A false positive is when a test result incorrectly indicates that a person has a certain condition or illness. In the case of drug tests, a false positive indicates that a test has detected the presence of a drug when in reality the person has not taken that drug. False positives can occur due to a variety of factors, including cross-reactivity with other substances, lab errors, and contamination.

Why is it Important to Know About False Positives?

Answer: It is important to be aware of false positives because a false positive result can have serious consequences. For example, if a person takes a drug test and gets a false positive result, they may be denied employment or be subject to disciplinary action. It is also important to be aware of false positives so that people can take measures to avoid them, such as informing the testing agency of any medication they are taking.

What Can be Done to Avoid False Positives?

Answer: To avoid false positives, it is important to be open and honest about any medications or supplements that you are taking. This includes informing the testing agency of any medications or supplements that could potentially cause a false positive. Additionally, certain steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of a false positive, such as abstaining from taking certain medications or supplements prior to testing.

Valerian – Reviews, Facts & Warnings – by Dr Sam Robbins

In conclusion, Valerian root has been shown to cause false positives for benzodiazepines in drug tests. This is due to the presence of a compound called GABA, which is similar to those found in benzodiazepines. Therefore, anyone taking Valerian root should be aware that it may lead to a false positive in a drug test. However, this risk is relatively low and it is important to note that Valerian root is generally considered safe and has many potential health benefits.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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