What Medicines Could Give You A False-Positive Pregnancy Test?

Medicines That Could Give You A False-Positive Pregnancy Test

Pregnancy is an exciting journey for both the expecting parents. They go through so much hassle, effort, and timing games that it almost becomes too exasperating for them at the end of it. So, imagine their horror when they find out that despite going through so much effort and hard work and realize that everything went in vain and they could not conceive!

There could be several reasons behind the failure of conception in couples. While that may not exactly be our concern here, it is always sadder to realize that some medicines could cause a false-positive pregnancy test – imagine the horrors!

A false positive pregnancy test refers to a test taken by the apparently ‘expectant’ mother to ensure whether she has gained some success in conceiving or not.

In the case of a false positive pregnancy test, the results would be positive and show that the woman has indeed conceived, whereas, in reality, nothing would have happened.

Sadly enough, there are some medications whose usage in the long term could end up giving women such false positive pregnancy results that could otherwise dampen their bright hopes.

A review of all such medicines is given below:


Anti-allergy medicines such as promethazine have been linked to causing false positive pregnancy tests in some females.


When discussing specific drugs, Lenalidomide is one drug that causes women to see a false positive pregnancy test on their reports. Lenalidomide is a drug indicated for several malignant disorders, including Multiple Myeloma, Myelodysplastic syndrome, and refractory mantle cell lymphoma, among others.

Lenalidomide was seen to interfere with the activity of bHCG in the body of females, thus very likely being linked to the prevalence of false-positive pregnancy tests.

Anti-Emetic Drugs:

Drugs such as prochlorperazine, chlorpromazine, etc., are known for alleviating symptoms of nausea. But on the other hand, they are also known for causing false positive pregnancy tests in females.

Anti-Psychotic Drugs:

Several anti-psychotic drugs serve multiple purposes. In the case of females, they may be using them under prescription for issues such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, etc. Again, some of these drugs are responsible for causing a false positive pregnancy test. These drugs include thiothixene, trifluoperazine, chlorpromazine, etc.

Escitalopram is another one of those Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) that are used for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder, yet at the same time, are capable of causing both secondary amenorrhea and false positive pregnancy tests in females.

hCG Hormone Pills:

Some women take hCG pills to increase their chances of fertility during different times of their ovulatory cycle. While these pills may or may not help them increase their chances of fertility, they may cause a false positive pregnancy test result, especially when the test is done earlier.


Diuretics, also known as the ‘water pills,’ are known for causing false positive pregnancy tests in some females.

Why Do Some Medicines Give False Positive Pregnancy Tests?

Although the mechanism of action of all the drugs mentioned above is different, the reason why they all give rise to false positive pregnancy tests is vague and not easily understood. The mechanism stands unclear, and it has not yet been established.

There are, however, certain precautions that a female should take care of when taking these tests at home. These precautions include opting for test kits that are from a reliable brand and not testing way too early. In most cases, pregnancy does not show up until it is late. Such women do not even realize at some times that they are pregnant.

Moreover, it is also to be noted that self-testing kits are not 100% reliable. Only a blood test evaluating your hCG levels and an ultrasound scan looking for signs of pregnancy could help confirm your doubts regarding any impending good news!

What Can I Do If I Suspect I Got A False-Positive?

If you get a positive pregnancy test but strongly suspect that it is false, the best option is to consult your Doctor. They can perform an ultrasound of your abdomen to confirm your doubts. Ultrasound is considered the best test for confirming any signs of pregnancy that even your blood tests might not pick up.

However, the only downside to getting an ultrasound done is waiting for a few weeks before a pregnancy gets picked up on the screen. Once you get it done, you will know what is causing your hormones to ‘falsely’ peak up!

See Also

Tubal Ligation Reversal

What is Semen Analysis?

Pregnancy Exercises

What Is Hydrosalpinx?


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Andleeb Asghar
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Andleeb Asghar holds a “Pharm-D” degree from Lahore College for Women University, Lahore. She has also served as a distinguished guest speaker at various local hospitals and high-profile organizations. She has been writing medical and health-related content for the past five years.