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False positive drug test due to antidepressants?
« on: February 12, 2022, 12:34:04 am »
Hello all, I am currently applying to Hagwons in South Korea.  I've also recently been prescribed the antidepressants Trazodone and Wellbutrin, which apparently sometimes show up as false positives for amphetamines on the drug test.  (I already know that you're not supposed to tell employers about taking any antidepressants or dealing with mental health issues).

If I get a false positive, is it possible to explain to customs if I have a doctor's note? Or would they see that my visa documents say I haven't been treated for depression and then deport me for lying about?

Is it possible to pass off the medications as something else if I get a false positive?  (Trazodone is prescribed as a sleeping aid and Wellbutrin is sometimes prescribed to help people quit smoking).  Would they not buy this story if I don't have a doctor's note? Would they say it contradicts my health form if I state there that I am in good health?

I have read a lot of conflicting info about what happens if you get a false positive due to medication, and would appreciate any advice. 


Re: False positive drug test due to antidepressants?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2022, 08:07:58 pm »
Prescription would be needed possibly at customs upon entering the country and definitely if you catch a hot one, false positive. Obviously a false positive would put you in a bit of a precarious situation. Is it possible to not take the meds for 2-3 days leading up to the drug test? Try asking in every expat in korea fb group. You will probably get some hate but there will be some people giving you sound advice probably from first hand experience.


Re: False positive drug test due to antidepressants?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2022, 08:49:19 pm »
If you test positive, you will be asked to retake the test. If you test positive again, you will have a problem. It is unlikely that you would test positive for something you aren't taking.

More importantly, are you confident you'd be able to get this medication in Korea? Culture shock + suddenly stopping antidepressants could be disastrous.


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 3523

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: False positive drug test due to antidepressants?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2022, 09:26:14 pm »
According to the search on this page: https://www.mfds.go.kr/eng/index.do it looks like you can't bring trazodone into Korea but it doesn't bring up anything for Wellbutrin.

Try to a) either find workaround drugs or b) see if you can keep it together long enough to get through the process then visit a good doctor once you're here. 

Mental health care here lags far behind other care types in Korea because of social stigma of perceived "weakness" (not unlike, sadly, many other countries) but nonetheless there are many good docs that can help.

Just a reminder though that it's not a good idea to lie on official forms, which includes an application for employment.