ORIGINAL ARTICLESCoca tea consumption causes positive urine cocaine assayMazor, Suzan S.a; Mycyk, Mark B.b; Wills, Brandon K.c; Brace, Larry D.d; Gussow, Leonc; Erickson, Timothyc e Author Information aDivision of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Washington bDepartment of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University School of Medicine cToxikon Consortium Departments of dPathology eEmergency Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA Correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr Suzan S Mazor, MD, Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105, USA Tel: +1 206 987 5616; e-mail: [email protected] Received 16 November 2005 Accepted 22 March 2006 European Journal of Emergency Medicine: December 2006 - Volume 13 - Issue 6 - p 340-341 doi: 10.1097/01.mej.0000224424.36444.19 Buy Metrics Abstract Background Coca tea, derived from the same plant that is used to synthesize cocaine, is commonly consumed in South America and easily obtained in the United States. Objectives To determine whether consumption of coca tea would result in a positive urine toxicology screen for cocaine metabolites. Methods Five healthy adult volunteers consumed coca tea and underwent serial quantitative urine testing for cocaine metabolites by fluorescence polarization immunoassay. The cutoff for a positive assay was chosen at 300 ng/ml, the National Institute on Drug Abuse standard. Results Each participant's urine cocaine assay was positive (level exceeding 300 ng/ml) by 2 h after ingestion. Three out of five participants' samples remained positive at 36 h. Mean urine benzoylecgonine concentrations in all postconsumption samples was 1777 ng/ml (95% confidence interval: 1060–2495). Conclusions Coca tea ingestion resulted in a positive urine assay for cocaine metabolite. Healthcare professionals should consider a history of coca tea ingestion when interpreting urine toxicology results. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.