Non Cross-Reacting Compound

Last Updated: June 21, 2018

Definition - What does Non Cross-Reacting Compound mean?

A non-cross reacting compound is a substance that does not trigger a positive result due to cross reactivity with a drug testing device. Because some substances are chemically similar to the drugs or drug metabolites that drug tests are designed to detect, they can trigger a false positive result. This is called a cross-reaction. A non-cross reacting compound will not trigger a positive result.

WorkplaceTesting explains Non Cross-Reacting Compound

Some drug tests employ immunoassay technology to detect the presence of targeted drugs through those drugs' metabolites. This detection is accomplished through the use of antibodies that react to the targeted drugs. These antibodies may be used to detect the presence of the selected drugs because they react only with those substances. Thus, once introduced to a test sample, the antibodies will only react by binding with the targeted drugs. This is because each antibody fits key-like into a receptor on the drug.

If the drugs, specifically their metabolites, are not present the antibodies will remain free. By using a color-change system to determine the level of antibody binding, a test evaluator can determine whether a drug test is positive or negative. However, in some cases antibodies can bind to a substance that is chemically similar to the drug's metabolite. This happens because antibody 'key' also fits the similar substances receptor. When this happens, the color change indicating a positive drug results will occur too. These similar substances are called cross-reacting compounds. Non-cross reacting compounds are the reverse.

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