Meth-Making Ingredient Taken Out of Some Cold Medicines

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

September 16, 2005

Some drug makers are fighting back against drug addicts. Some manufacturers are taking the key "meth making" ingredient out of cold medicines.

As of October 1st, it will be illegal for stores and pharmacies to sell medicines with pseudoephedrine over the counter.

Many stores have already taken the products off the shelf.

"You don't want it to get into the wrong hands because it can cause big problems," said one cold medicine user.

Pseudoephedrine is one of the ingredient drug users need to make methamphetamine.

Not only will medicines with pseudoephedrine be behind the counter from now on, but you'll have to give your name, address, date of birth, and i.d. in order to buy it.

"People will still be upset about it. They're going to resent having to show I.D., especially here where we know them already and that kind of thing," said Meadowcreek Pharmacist Janet Chrismoore.

Many products from allergy medicines like Benadryl and Claritin D to cold medicines like Sudafed and Tylenol Cold won't be readily available. In addition, you'll only be able to buy three boxes at a time.

"I have friends who have severe allergies--respiratory allergies--and if they can only come here and get three [boxes of] Claritin a week, I know its going to limit them. They're not going to be able to walk around outside," said Laura Dorman.

You could also try a cold or allergy medicine without pseudoephedrine.

Sudafed just released Sudafed PE. They've replaced pseudoephedrine with phenylephrine which will also help fight your cold.

"There are some products with phenylephrine in it, which is another decongestant [but] its generally considered to be not as effective as pseudoephedrine," said Janet Chrismoore, Meadowcreek Pharmacist in Charlottesville.

The new decongestant replacing pseudoephedrine has been on the market for years in other cold remedies like Alka-seltzer and Afrin.

Meadowcreek drugstore said they plan on taking drugs with pseudoephedrine off the shelves by next week.

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