Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Misusing Vitamin To Foil Drug Test May Be Toxic; Plus, It Doesn't Work

Date:
April 11, 2007
Source:
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Summary:
Taking excessive doses of a common vitamin in an attempt to defeat drug screening tests may send the user to the hospital -- or worse. Researchers in Philadelphia reported on two adults and two adolescents who suffered toxic side effects from taking large amounts of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, in mistaken attempts to foil urine drug tests.

Taking excessive doses of a common vitamin in an attempt to defeat drug screening tests may send the user to the hospital--or worse.

Researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and The University of Pennsylvania reported on two adults and two adolescents who suffered toxic side effects from taking large amounts of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, in mistaken attempts to foil urine drug tests.

Both adult patients suffered skin irritation, while both adolescents had potentially life-threatening reactions, including liver toxicity and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), as well as nausea, vomiting and dizziness. One of the teens also had disrupted heart rhythms.

All four patients recovered after treatment in hospital emergency rooms for the adverse effects. The report appeared online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

"Testing urine for drugs is becoming increasingly common for job applicants," said study leader Manoj K. Mittal, M.D., a fellow in Emergency Medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Because niacin is known to affect metabolic processes, there is a completely unfounded claim that it can rapidly clear the body of drugs such as cannabis and cocaine. However, niacin is toxic when taken in large amounts."

Niacin is easily available as an over-the-counter vitamin supplement. As a vitamin, the daily recommended intake is 15 milligrams, but niacin is used in much larger doses to treat vitamin deficiencies and other conditions. "People often assume niacin is completely safe," said Dr. Mittal. "As a water-soluble vitamin, it is easily excreted from the body. However, the body has its limits, and some of these patients took 300 times the daily recommended dose of niacin." Dr. Mittal added that there is a report in the medical literature of a patient who suffered liver failure, requiring a liver transplant, after taking excessive doses of niacin.

Many Internet sites promote the misconception that niacin can be used to pass urine drug screening tests, Dr. Mittal said. "We hope that our study will alert emergency medicine physicians and other health care providers to this hazardous practice."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Misusing Vitamin To Foil Drug Test May Be Toxic; Plus, It Doesn't Work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070410162457.htm>.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (2007, April 11). Misusing Vitamin To Foil Drug Test May Be Toxic; Plus, It Doesn't Work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070410162457.htm
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Misusing Vitamin To Foil Drug Test May Be Toxic; Plus, It Doesn't Work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070410162457.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins