Should products containing pseudoephedrine be available only by prescription?

PhotobucketShould pseudoephedrine become a prescription drug?

The resurgence of meth labs nationwide is spurring some lawmakers to try to enact laws in their state that would make medicines containing pseudoephedrine, like those found in Sudafed, only available to those who have a prescription.

Oregon did just that in 2006, when Governor Ted Kulongoski signed legislation- HB 2485 – in to law. The law-of-the-land in Oregon required the Oregon Board of Pharmacy to move all pseudoephedrine products to Schedule III (prescription only) on or before July 1, 2006. Since then, cold, allergy, and sinus medications containing pseudoephedrine can only be obtained in Oregon with a doctor’s prescription.

Mississippi followed Oregon’s lead to become the second state in the U.S. to require a prescription for pseudoephedrine.

Other states, who are experiencing the growth of meth labs however, are wondering if following Oregon’s lead is the answer to their meth lab problem too.

California

Senator Wright of California has authored a bill – SB484 -  that would require consumers to have a prescription to buy medicines containing pseudoephedrine. If SB 484 gets final approval in California, the purchase of cold, sinus, and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine will require a doctor’s prescription for pseudoephedrine containing products, just like it does in Oregon and Mississippi.  Obtaining pseudoephedrine products without a prescription would result in an “infraction or a misdemeanor”. Supporters of the bill say that the measure will drastically cut down the ability of meth lab cooks to get pseudoephedrine and that, in turn, will eliminate the number of meth labs in California neighborhoods.

california-sb-484

Effect on poor and financially struggling families:

Opponents of the bill argue  that making pseudoephedrine containing products “prescription only” drugs may help minimize the meth lab problem in California, but it will also hurt poor and struggling families. Some predict that a bottle of nose spray that now costs $4 is likely to sell for $40 or $50 a bottle or more, once it’s turned in to a prescription drug, making it unaffordable for those without prescription insurance or those with high co-pays for prescription drugs.  They say the cost of the drug is just the part of the problem. The cost of taking a day off from work and the cost of a doctor’s appointment will also make it extremely difficult for financially struggling families and the poor to buy the products that help give them and their children the most relief from their  cold, allergy, and sinus problems.

Some say that turning medicines containing pseudoephedrine in to prescription drugs will ultimately be paid by poor, non-meth-making families.  Maybe a better prescription for the problem would be doing something more to help those addicted to meth to quit?

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Effect on the state’s prison systems:

Other opponents of the law say that re-classifying pseudoephedrine as a prescription drug would create an expense that would ultimately fall on the budgets of its cities, towns, and the state of California. The change in the law would make having pseudoephedrine without a prescription a felony, meaning more people could be given prison sentences, which is the last thing California prisons’ need. The prisons in California are already overcrowded. According to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) they are already housing 170,000 inmates and 15,000 of those inmates are being kept in  gyms and dayrooms. They don’t have anywhere else to put them. Twenty years ago, the state was housing just over 70,000 inmates  in California prisons. Over the last 20 years, the inmate population has grown by 4% every year.

Currently,  the law in California punishes any retailer who does not follow state guidelines regarding the sale of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norpseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine.

No more than 3 packages of pseudoephedrine may be sold to any one individual in a single transaction or more than 9 grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norpseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine.

  • A first violation of these restrictions is a misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
  • A second or subsequent violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of up to one year, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. (Health & Saf. Code 11100, subd. (g).)

The  federal government also has rules about the sale of pseudoephedrine products, which include:

No more than 3.6 grams may be sold to an individual in a single transaction.

No more than 7.5 grams may be sold to a single customer in a one-month period.

Seller must maintain a written or electronic logbook of each sale, including the date of the transaction, the name and address of the purchaser and the quantity sold. The seller must maintain these documents, as specified by law.

Consumers are currently mandated by the federal government to adhere to play by the rules too.

The purchaser must present valid identification, as specified, and the seller must verify the identification.

The purchaser must sign a paper or electronic logbook, as specified.

Tracking the sale of pseudoephedrine by paper log books

Here is an example of a paper log that may be used by a retailer.  Some retailers have moved beyond paper logs to electronic ones,  which helps them see at a glance who has been buying what, where, and how much they’re purchased.

pseudoephedrine-logbook

NOTE: This post was originally published on June 7, 2009.  Updated Jan. 13, 2011.

For more information:

CA SB 484 – The bill as amended May 12, 2009

An analysis of SB 484 by the Senate Committee on Public Safety

Comments

  1. This is BULLSH**!!

    It will hurt the unemployed, and family’s that are struggling! The American health system is corrupt and completely (sorry to say this) fu*ked up!

    Now if we had Canada’s Health Care system.. I say.. yeah go ahead and make pseudoephedrine available only by prescription. At least it would be free to see the doctor and very cheap to obtain your cold medicine, but I’m sorry… this isn’t Canada. This is America… Land of the poor and Home of the Greedy, where only money will guarantee you a long and healthy life.

    What I REALLY HATE about certain laws are… Only the law abiding citizens (such as myself) are the ones who suffer. Take guns of example… If you ban guns, law abiding citizens of course wouldn’t possess them… but guess who will be… the ones who ignore laws.

    I think holding drugs that contain pseudoephedrine behind the counters and limiting the amount you can buy is the BEST option we have right now, unless we have a free health care system.

  2. Ban Pseudoephedrine says:

    Steven,

    I aprreciate you passion, but you are missing key facts in this arguement. Requiring a prescription for PSE products is the only viable and proven solution existing to eliminate PSE smurfing and dramitcally reduce the domestic production of meth, which poisons our kids and environment. Oregon passed its law in 2006 and Big Pharma pitched some of the vary arguements you make, but the facts refute them all. PSE isactually less expensive in Oregon via Rx than as an OTC in CA, there was no outcry from the poor and uninsured, there are hundreds of alternative products available that don’t make meth, and the ER’s were not floodded with people seeking PSE – all scare tactics by Big Pharma who is making millions from the meth making trade.

    Oregon used to average more than 400 meth labs per year and since its law passed it has average only 15 per year – only 12 in all of 2010 – and none of those were operational. More importantly, Oregon used to removed 40 or more kids form meth labs each year. Since 2006 they have only removed 2 kids from places were boxed labs existed. Mississippi became the second state to pass a Rx PSE law in July 2010 and the results are already remarkable. A 70% reduction in memth labs compared to the same six month periond in the previous year. And of course, they have only removed 19 kids from labs versus 80 during the smae period the previous year. Facts are facts. the CMEA and electronic tracking systems of PSE sales are easily circumvented by criminals and its doing nothing more than fueling the problem. And at the end of the day, PSE doesn’t cure anything – it masks symptons – no will die without PSE. We should actuallu ban it – Mexico and several other Central and South American countires have and gues what? No outcry of people dying from PSE depravation. You are either for Meth labs or you are against them. We have the ability to end this human misery if people will get informed and take action.

  3. Ban Pseudoephedrine says:

    This article also contains some misinformation – the reality is that smurfing PSE or purchasing it with the intent to make meth or provide it to someone else to make meth is a serious felony in CA and under federal law. Not having a prescription for a contrlled substances is a weak misdemeanor. One of the main reasons SB 484 passed the CA Senate is because it stood to save Californians milions of dollars- primarily because it will prevent hoards of people from being sent to prison. Try and find an example where someone possessed a prescription drug without a precription and went to prison – it doesn’t happen! But, hundreds every yeard are sent to the gallows for smurfing PSE. Not hard to figure out why – smurfing is a cottage industry with substantial profit earning potential. You can make several hundred dollars a day for a small investment of time and money. And investigating smurfers is expensive and time consuming business for law enforcement who could be doing something other than chasing people around who have usually passed the PSE to someone making meth before they are caught – if they are caught at all. Rx PSE is pure prevention rather than reactive. It keeps PSe out of the hand of the people who shouldn’t have it. As a scheule III, people merely need to call thee doctor to get a PSE prescription filled and they are refillable mutliple times. Absolute hogwash about taking time off and paying for doctor visits – ask Oregon and Mississippii – don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story! The truth will set you free – check out Oregondec.org if you really want to know the truth versus the propaganda and rhetoric.

    • Ban Pseudoephedrine. The information that I referred to in my article was obtained from the Bill. Please see the first link – CA SB 484 – The bill as amended May 12, 2009. Specifically section 1 paragraph 2.

    • Ban Pseudoephedrine,

      While I agree that pseudoephedrine needs to be taken out of the reach of meth cooks, I think that making PSE a prescription drug will only provide us with a temporary victory. Those who want to make meth or use meth will find a way to do it. Illegal drugs are like any other business. If you have a profitable product and you lose a supplier to make that product (PSE as a prescription drug), you find another supplier so you can keep your profits rolling in. Last November, police busted a superlab in a rented suburban home in GA that was using “methamphetamine oil” smuggled in to the U.S. from Mexico. Black market supplies of PSE, ephedrine, and “meth oil” will likely be used to circumvent pseudoephedrine-prescription laws. However, we have to start somewhere. I agree.

      • Ban Pseudoephedrine says:

        I certainly don’t discount that criminals are resiliant and they will try to find another way how to circumvent our laws; however, Oregon results have persisted for nearly five years. This is an unprecedented success in the meth lab arena. One should not confuse what Rx PSE aaims to accomplish. It DOES attempt to eliminate meth – we have our neighbors to the south to thanks for a study supply of meth and other drugs. However, banning PSE south of the U.S. has caused them to use an old method of making meth (P2P – effectively eliminated in the U.S. years ago) which produces inferior meth (l-meth versus d-meth). Histroy has shown when the price of meth goes up and the potentency and purity go down – fewer people get hooked on meth and seek treatment. Another arugment the meth lab profitmakers pose is that Rx PSE will be diverted just like other prescription drugs. This is another false claim. If someone is going to doctor shop they will get amphetamines or a large assortment of other drugs from which they don’t have to extract anything and then snythisize it into a drug. This is why there hasn’t been a single documented case of PSE diversion in nearly five years in Oregon. Oregon crooks are no less sophisticated than anywhere else in America. This is also why Mississippi hasn’t had any PSE diversion either (granted it’s only been six month). Even if that did happen, wouldn’t we rather deal with a small problem of diversion rather than our current system which allows thousands of people to smurf PSE every day?

        As for the meth oil – according to DEA, that was meth “in solutuion” and not “meth oil” as erroneuously reported. There is a big distinction. Raw meth (HCl or powdered) can is being smuggled from Mexico and converted into Ice in the U.S. That process requires Denatured alcohol or Acetone. Meth oil is the next to last stage in making meth. Icing meth is no walk in the park, but it’s a far cry from cooking meth. We are actually creating the perfect storm for Mexican DTO meth labs to rapidly grow in the U.S. . PSE is hard to get in Mexico (hence the infoerior P2P meth – according to DEA represent the major of meth now being seized at our borders), there is an abundant supply of PSE in the U.S., and by cooking in it here they don’t have to risk smuggled it. If this doesn’t motivate peope to pursue Rx PSE – one is eitehr profiting from meth labs or dillusional because stand by, this problem is really about ready to start spilling over the edges!

        We have a proven solution to rid of us of meth labs. Will it last forsever? Who knows, but there has never been anything offering such promise since meth labs started popping up 25 years ago. And to not do the right thing based on the assumption that it may not last forever seems very defeatest. If we can dramitically reduce meth labs for even a few years think of the lives saved, children who won’t be exposed, our environment not being polluted, and homes not being contaminated. Big Pharma is making too much money from this misery and spending huge amounts of money to confuse te public. It’s the public that needs to get informed and get behind this policy or else we will simply perpetuate this mess for generations.

  4. Ban Pseudoephedrine says:

    Even the doctors are getting tired of poeple’s addiction to PSE:

    I am a physician who has worked for 15 years in both primary and specialty care in Pediatrics. In addition, I have Board certification in Addiction Medicine and for 18 years I have provided treatment to drug addicts and alcoholics. Through our federally funded research on methamphetamine addiction, I have gained insight into the dynamics that perpetuate the epidemic use of methamphetamine in California.

    I have reviewed the provisions of SB 484, which proposes to restrict sales of pseudoephedrine-containing pharmaceuticals to those persons with a valid prescription. I am in support of this measure, and encourage the Assembly to favorably consider it. As I understand it, SB 484 aims to reduce availability of pseudoephedrine to illicit manufacturers of methamphetamine (meth cookers). This drug has been a scourge in California, particularly in rural areas, which have been adversely affected by the proliferation of clandestine methamphetamine labs, which, in turn, increase local supplies of the drug, and pose a direct health and environmental threat due to the toxic processes involved in methamphetamine manufacture. The previous legislation that restricted pseudoephedrine sales was initially very effective, but via the ploy of “smurfing” meth cookers have effectively exploited this loophole. In the past two years we have seen a dramatic re-emergence of methamphetamine labs and all of the misery that ensues.

    In making medical decisions, the discipline of medicine is to weigh the expected benefits of prescribing a medication versus its risks. When used as a treatment for nasal congestion, the FDA has found pseudoephedrine to be somewhat effective for this indication. The drug releases norepinephrine (nor-adrenaline) from nerve endings throughout the body, which causes the blood vessels in the nose (as well as elsewhere) to constrict, hence reducing the degree of nasal congestion that accompanies respiratory infections or allergy. Though marginally effective in symptom reduction, the drug comes with considerable risks: since norepinephrine is the principal mediator of the sympathetic nervous system, it has very widespread effects on structures besides the lining of the nose. Well-known, major adverse drug reactions are hypertension, heart rhythm disturbances (sometimes fatal), stroke, and myocardial infarction. For persons with certain diagnoses, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, smokers, and pregnant women, pseudoephredrine is a particular hazard and may produce serious or fatal outcomes in these patients. Persons prescribed antidepressants, beta-blockers, MAO inhibitors, and heart medications can similarly be adversely affected.

    Currently, because pseudoephedrine is available over-the-counter, persons for whom this medication is contraindicated, frequently obtain it and use it to bad effect, presumably unaware of the danger to them, in part because they did not consult a physician. SB 484 will increase the safe use of pseudoephedrine by requiring physician consultation before it is prescribed. This is a distinct benefit of SB 484. I have personally seen several patients who misused pseudoephedrine, and became toxic with anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, and weight loss.

    Though SB 484 increases public safety by requiring a physician prescription for pseudoephedrine, ready access to its’ use will be restricted, possibly meaning that someone who wants to use it may be prevented from obtaining it, or be required to see a physician. The argument made against this legislation—that it unfairly restricts access to the medication for those with limited access to physician assessment—cuts both ways. In rural areas where lengthy distances are required to see a physician, for poor and underserved populations, and for families with an ill child, a family member may purchase over-the-counter medications to avoid having to see a physician. Unfortunately, this means that these populations are at disproportionately higher risk of exposure to adverse drug reactions related to pseudoephedrine use. Similarly, these families are more susceptible to the impact of drug marketing, because looser standards of proof of efficacy are required for over-the counter (OTC) medications. Fortunately, pseudoephedrine is not an essential drug for any purpose. The benefits on nasal function are marginal and other safer preparations are available (some containing phenylephrine, PE) to meet this need. At worst, the main adverse consequence of SB 484 might be an outbreak of stuffy noses.

    In sum, the risks of pseudoephedrine in a non-prescription OTC preparation are well documented, and substantial, where it is only somewhat effective for the intended use. However, the benefits of restricting the illicit use of pseudoephedrine in methamphetamine manufacture are substantial.

    Sincerely,

    S. Alex Stalcup, MD, Medical Director
    New Leaf Treatment Center
    Diplomat, American Board of Addiction Medicine

    • Pro Pseudoephedrine says:

      Pseudoephedrine only somewhat effective? I tried the new phenylephrine formulas in OTC and they are no more effective at relieving congestion than a placebo and studies have proven it! Phenylephrine is garbage and it does not work! Personally, I think your motivation for this RX PSE is out of greed! If an RX must be obtained in order to get Pseudoephedrine, that means more patients and more money to line your pockets. And addiction to Pseudoephedrine? Huh? Pseudoephedrine is NOT addictive! But, it is ABSOLUTELY effective in relieving congestion! The new decongestant formulas containing phenylephrine were only made available to keep famliar brands on the shelf and to continue making large profits even though the new formulas DON’T WORK!!! People like you all are contributing to the demise of our freedom as Americans. As an American I have the right to effective medication when I’m sick. Are you American? Communist? Or just a Quack? Because you speak nonsense!

      • Thank you for saying this. I don’t know how they can continue selling a bogus product like phenylephrine and advertise it as an effective decongestant. Like you said, numerous studies that show phenylephrine is no more effective than placebo (unless you ingest many times the suggested dosage, according to one study) and even then it won’t clear your sinuses as well as sudafed. It’s misleading marketing and I’d say medically unethical on the part of the industry and regulators. It allows them to sell two products for the same condition, charge more for the effective one but keep their shelfspace with a “safer”, more profitable imitation. I’ll tolerate paying more for pseudoephedrine behind the counter, if that’s what it takes to keep it accessible without a doctor’s visit. But don’t try to pass off those sugar pills as medicine, it’s fraud.

        Those who want to get high will always find a way. The desire to alter one’s perceptions through psychoactive plants and drugs is human nature, like the desire for religious salvation, a great steak, sex. This sudafed debate is another maladroit “war” on drugs. The majority of meth consumed in the United States has origins in Mexico, Canada and India, where pseudoephedrine is produced in massive quantities. The people who actually spend their days smurfing from Walmart to Walmart, risking serious bodily/property damage to cook up a batch of low quality crank represent a very small percentage of the population. Yet meth abuse is unquestionably an insidious problem in many communities with pervasive and devastating consequences, and small neighborhood meth labs ensure product is always available should a regional supplier runs dry or gets locked up.

        Sudafed is one part of this complex issue. The drug companies fought hard to keep it over the counter, that’s their right. It has a legitimate use and it’s safe when used as directed and it won’t get you “high”. What needs to be addressed are the underlying issues that lead people to abuse harmful, addictive drugs. What are their backgrounds, their story, their experiences, their explanation? What demographic is the least likely to encounter meth at all? Are rehab treatments available and accessible to anyone that needs it? The events and circumstances surrounding an individual’s path to meth addiction deserve more investigation, resources, and research. People abuse drugs for a reason. I don’t hear much discussion on what those reasons are and how they could be prevented. The current efforts on keeping cold medicine off the shelves and requiring scripts will be about as successful as Prohibition was. Isn’t Oxycontin prescription only? That hasn’t prevented addicts and drug dealers from breaking into pharmacies across the country with ever increasing frequency.

  5. Ban Pseudoephedrine says:

    Thank you for all your are doing with this website and helping educate people about meth labs – it makes a real difference in people’s lives!

    • Yes it should!!!!! I am a pharmacist for a major retail chain and I am sick of it. I am on the state line of MS and LA and I am tired of the addicts from MS I just want it to be over. I fear for my safety they are getting desperate and no one will listen

  6. And yes making it a prescription federally is only a temporary victory but it is a necessary step in the right direction

  7. Ban Pseudoephedrine says:

    Will We Save the Kaydens

    Thursday, January 13, 2011
    By, Congressman Hal Rogers

    It feels like déjà vu as I read through daily newspaper articles and
    find story after story detailing another horrendous drug epidemic
    spreading across Kentucky.

    In 2003, a series of news articles pinpointed Eastern Kentucky as the
    “Prescription Painkiller Capitol of the Nation” with the powerful
    narcotic, Oxycontin as the number one culprit. Today, seven years later,
    the illicitly manufactured drug, Methamphetamine, is poisoning our
    communities.

    Meth has become so commonplace that manufacturers can make it virtually
    anywhere, any time in a one-step process. It is so simple and cheap,
    that they can go to any local store that sells common household products
    like drain cleaner, batteries, purchase their limit of pseudoephedrine
    and mix the ingredients in a 20 oz. plastic soda bottle.

    In comparison to all of the drug-related news reports that seem to pop
    up around the clock, none stopped me in my tracks like the
    heart-wrenching story of 22-month-old Kayden Branham from my hometown,
    Wayne County. His tragic story is fueling a new mission.

    One-Step Death

    In Kayden’s case, the corrosive drain cleaner was left in an open cup
    at a home where meth was allegedly being made. Kayden died an
    unthinkable death after drinking from that cup in May 2009.

    With the number of meth labs skyrocketing across Kentucky, I can only
    imagine and pray for all of the children, unaccounted for, in homes
    where meth is being made. And let there be no doubt that meth is on the
    rise.

    In 2010, law enforcement responded to a staggering 1,100 meth lab sites
    in Kentucky, up from 738 in 2009.

    And even these figures are deceptive, as within each site, there may be
    dozens or even hundreds of meth labs. Last year in Clay County, for
    example, law enforcement responded to one site where 85 labs were found
    on a hillside.

    The cost of investigations, arrests, incarceration, treatment and
    dismantling labs are crippling our already unstable Kentucky economy, to
    the tune of $48 million dollars per year.

    The personal impact is even more tragic. Meth labs are endangering the
    lives of first responders, the innocent children in meth homes and
    anyone who unknowingly passes by a combustible meth lab in a car, a
    backpack or soda bottle.

    A Clear Target

    The one and only ingredient that meth cannot be made without, is
    pseudoephedrine.

    In 2005, the increase in meth labs prompted Kentucky state legislators
    to limit the sales of pseudoephedrine and put the medication behind the
    pharmacy counter.

    Optimism quickly deflated, as the realization of loopholes grew
    apparent.

    Vanloads of people have been caught buying their individual limit of
    pseudoephedrine to mass-produce the highly addictive drug they all
    crave. Police have dubbed the scheme “smurfing.”

    In fact, Kentucky State Police believe as much as 77% of
    pseudoephedrine sold is used to make meth.

    Oregon experienced the same effects as Kentucky. However, when Kentucky
    moved to electronically monitor the sales of pseudoephedrine in 2007 in
    hopes of tightening the loopholes, Oregon went the extra mile, passing
    legislation to make it a scheduled controlled substance, requiring a
    prescription.

    Oregon’s decision was a real solution. Meth lab sites dropped to 55
    in 2006 with a record low of 10 in 2009, compared to the more than 700
    meth lab sites in Kentucky the same year.

    Mississippi is also experiencing dramatic results after following suit
    last July, reporting a 68% decrea
    se. Indiana, Tennessee and Missouri are
    now considering similar legislation.

    Our national neighbor Mexico, largely criticized for its lack of drug
    enforcement over the years, completely banned pseudoephedrine.

    Kayden Branham is our wake up call. Will Kentucky hit the snooze button
    and lay in bed with the industry or fight for a real solution?

  8. “It” NEEDS to be a prescription drug! It won’t be a total answer, but one small step toward it , better than making it easy for “them.”
    Thank you. for the feedback, I feel so helpless, This is the only support I have. I have about 14 friends who have been in my home but the owner doesn’t care, it is a very expen$ive truth! MY FRIENDS ARE HORRIFIED! I NEED SOMEONE IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY TO COME IN AND HELP!…
    … But who? Not the police,: “you have to see them.” OMG.
    Lynn

  9. Ban Pseudoephedrine says:

    I see there have been some responses to my post that contain a great deal of emotion, but are devoid of facts.
    Pro PSE and Charlie: I will gladly compare my credentials against anyone’s demonstrating my patriotism to our country and my long service to this country – including in combat. My motivation for this necessary law is solely based on public safety and has nothing to do with money.

    If anything, I have a financial disincentive to making PSE prescription only! I administer a large law enforcement agency and we, like many other law enforcement agencies, receive funding from several sources to combat meth and meth labs. If we solve this meth lab problem there will be much less money available – at a time when many agencies, including mine, are struggling to stay afloat.

    The real profit-makers are the Pharmaceutical companies and retail pharmacies that sell PSE and the alternative products including PE. PSE alone is estimated to be a billion dollars a year business, and even big Pharma doesn’t deny at least half of the PSE sold represents blood money because a majority of the PSE sold in America is being diverted to make meth.

    As for the efficacy of Pse versus PSE – you are missing the point. There are only 15 OTC products that contain PSE while there are more than 100 OTC products that are available on store shelves which don’t require a customer’s ID or logbook information because these products can’t be used to make meth. And besides, we are talking about the sinffles not some life threatening disease. I, too, am an allergy and cold suffer, but let’s keep things in perspective. Local decongestants, like Sudafed, do not treat the condition but only temporarily relieve nasal stiffness (congestion). Even the manufactures tell you they should be not used for more than 7 days without seeking a physician’s advice. Local decongestants are very effective in cases of acute inflammation and help to overcome the condition more easily. In cases of chronic inflammation, local decongestants are not as useful. In time, their effect becomes weaker and if used longer than 7 days they can cause mucosal atrophy.

    Finding and avoiding the provoker of the chronic inflammation is the course you can focus on. I n most cases, the reason for inflammation like yours is unknown. Local corticosteroids are very useful in treating chronic allergic nasal inflammations. Antihistamines are also useful. If there is an infection, antibiotics are necessary. In case of existing nasal polyps, surgery is requested. Bottom-line, there is more substantial and effective medicine available via prescription, and if people actually see a doctor, odds are they will be properly diagnosed and prescribed a more effective remedy. And if someone can’t get to a doctor, get some of the more than 100 available OTC’s. No one dies from a stuffy head. Mexico and several other Central American countries have already banned PSE – there is no pandemic, or even a single documented case, in which someone died because they could get PSE.

    Charlie – your information is inaccurate. First, Mexico is a source of meth – Canada and India are not. Canada used to be a source of PSE, but bilateral efforts by Canada and the U.S. have greatly restricted Canada as a PSE source – that’s probably why Canada has a growing meth lab problem. According to Customs and drug agencies – very little meth is seized coming from Canada. India, Germany, and China make PSE – not meth. You also mentioned domestic meth cookers are making “low quality crank.” Ironically it’s the Mexican DTO’s that are doing that because of the ban on PSE has forced them to use an old meth of making meth (P2P) that makes a form of meth half as potent as that made with PSE. It’s the more portent form of the meth that meth addicts crave and that is what continues to fuel are domestic meth lab problem. DEA analysis shows that a majority of the meth seized at the Southwest border is inferior to what are local cookers make. In California, home of the Superlabs, Mexican DTO’s make huge batches of meth and shipped it throughout the country. And the perfect storm is brewing: Mexico banned PSE so they are returning operation to the U.S. so they can make more potent meth and avoid getting over the border because the U.S. is the land of plenty for PSE!

    As for the diversion of PSE it is returned to its prescription status – a legitimate question, but one that is unsupported by facts. First, prescription drug abuse and its associated diversion tactics (i.e., doc shopping) is almost exclusively for opiates (Hydrocodone, Oxcycodone, etc.). That is because opiate addiction is different that stimulant addiction. If someone wanted to divert a stimulant prescription medication they will do so for medication that can be immediately consumed – why would they get something that has to be extracted and then synthesized? Well, lets not speculate – in the nearly five years since Oregon passed its Rx PSE law, there has not been a single documented case of PSE being diverted. The same is true for Mississippi during its first six months of its law. Prescription PSE will be monitored by state’s prescription drug monitoring systems, and if something shows on the radar – it can be swiftly dealt with. We will all be better off chasing a few small anomalies compared to our PSE smurfing epidemic. As for Prohibition – regardless of your views on that policy – history is clear of the positive results it had on tremendously reducing alcoholism and alcohol related crimes. The same is true in our drug history – every time we have successfully restricted the availability of a drug making it more expensive and less potent – fewer crime s have occurred, fewer people have gotten addicted, and fewer people seek treatment for drug addiction.

    Prescription PSE is about public safety – particularly our children’s safety. This isn’t about money or people’s inconvenience – it’s for the greater good of our nation!

  10. Anonymous says:

    The reason this works in Oregon is that the labs have moved to Washington and California. I really hate when “the children” get thrown into the mix. If anyone really cared about “the children” we wouldn’t be going to war. We wouldn’t be driving cars and we would be driving those cars while texting or talking on their cell phones. Ignorant people have children and leave all kinds of dangerous substances under the counters for them to ingest.

    How many people die from doctor error and how many people die from using prescription drugs correctly. How many dangerous prescription drugs are still on the market because the FDA is totally corrupt and wont’ pull them off the market but the if one person get ill from a vitamin or herb whether is was tainted or not they criminalize it immediately. Isn’t it funny that natural ephedrine was mad illegal even by prescription but pseudoephedrine is still on the market.

    What really needs to happen is to go the way of Switzerland and other European countries and legalize ALL drugs including heroin. Let the medical establishment treat the disorders that cause addiction and let law enforcement go after rapists and murderers.

    Did no one learn anything from prohibition?

    • I really hate when “the children” get thrown in to the mix too. I hate when kids are thrown in to the mix, like 20-month-old Kayden Branham who died after drinking drain cleaner that his father thought was out of his reach and Johnna Osborne from Bay County, Florida, who was severely burned when her father’s meth lab exploded and caught her playpen on fire, and Anna Holt, who suffered serious breathing problems because she lived in a former meth lab home. Yeah, I hate that “the children” have to be thrown in to the drug abuse argument. They wish they weren’t “in the mix” either.

      Why did the meth labs move in to California and Washington? Because meth cooks in Oregon couldn’t buy pseudoephedrine without a prescription.

      Making all drugs legal is not the solution to the meth lab problem. The problem with meth is that it can be cooked up in home labs by non-chemists because the ingredients are cheap to buy and easy to obtain. The pseudoephedrine issue is about the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine, which poses a serious health and safety risk to the public, especially children.

      Allowing people to have free access to methamphetamine would be a disaster. It is not like marijuana or heroin or prescription drugs. There’s a good reason it has been nicknamed “the devil”. It destroys the lives of those who use it and the lives of everyone around them. It doesn’t care if children are thrown “in to the mix”.

      Legalizing alcohol has not ended the alcoholism problem. Legalizing methamphetamine will not end the destruction that is caused when people become addicted to meth, either. Psychotic behavior that includes extreme paranoia and hallucinations, brain damage, and aggressive behavior are not unusual for those who are addicted to meth – one of the most addictive drugs in the world – if not THE most addictive drug in the world. Dealing with someone who is high on meth, who hasn’t slept for days and is paranoid or hallucinating is a very dangerous situation.

      Preventing meth cooks from having easy access to pseudoephedrine will require making it a prescription drug across the country, as has been proposed by Senator Wyden of Oregon. Banning the sale of pseudoephedrine completely would be even better, but prescription PSE is at least a step in the right direction to protecting all of us, especially children.

  11. I started taking that drug years ago for the beginning of allergies, That crap needs to be totally banned, And not even by perscription only. I got so hooked on it and was buying the heck out of that for rest of the year just to be able to breath. Thank God I weaned off of it.
    So even as the legal drug, It is very highly addictive and although not as destructive in the crank made form . Gosh I could only imagine what crank heads go thru and the addictive nature now x 1000′s times more addictive and destructive.
    I say Ban It… we don’t need it, there are much better alternatives, So Those screaming the loudest about it are either hooked on it as it is, Or are making Crank out of it. Ban the crap I say. Ohhh yeah the pharmacetical companies now will be PISSED for me saying that.. Eeeeekkkk they do run this world these days, ugh,..
    I still have allergies but I find a lot better …Less addictive meds around to help me these days. Hey and they work all the time, not like Pseudoehpedrine which will stop working cause you need more … more…. more… just to work. LOL!!

  12. Ohh and one more thing I have found several very cheap , more effective alternatives for my cold’s and allergies, I do not miss that pseudo crap, Wooohoo… And I live very poor, the cheap alternatives are actually even cheaper not just cause they work but because I am not having to buy more and more and more of the pseudoephedrine just to breath. So those speaking loudest about that are Hooked.LOL!!

  13. Methamphetamine made from Phenyl-2-propanone can be extremely strong, the L-meth present seems to have a synergistic quality with the D-meth, it also does not crystallize into ‘ice’ the same way as the D-methamphetamine(made with pse) DL-methamphetamine is a powdery substance and good for snorting, people are less inclined to smoke DL-methamphetamine however more inclined to IV the stuff for the same effect as smoking. Ephedrine/pse methamphetamine can also be of very low quality. ‘P2P’ can be synthesized with relative ease and is a far more economical product to produce in large batches. All that being said I’m not so sure stereo chemistry is a good argument for banning pse. Most of the local producers may go out of business but then the cartels take over and that’s not a good thing for America, I don’t care what you say, that is not good….

    The environmental damage done by labs is not near as bad as some would have you believe. If you have stayed at any Riverside county motel 6, you have probably spent the night in a former meth lab.

    And please find me a legitimate document that can prove methamphetamine is physically addictive…

    • Good point. Meth cooks are increasingly using motels and hotels to make meth exposing untold numbers of innocent people, including young children, to the toxic contaminants they leave behind. I honestly don’t see how putting local producers out of business is a bad thing. Over 2.5 million homes in the U.S. are now thought to be contaminated with meth lab chemicals, toxic chemicals that can lead to serious and life threatening illnesses.

      While it’s true that drug cartels will try to fill the gaps left when mom-and-pop meth lab cooks go out of business, that at least narrows the problem down for law enforcement and it puts an end to the meth epidemic that we’re in right now. When every Tom, Dick, and Harry can’t get easy access to pseudoephedrine to make meth, we’ll at least get the problem to a more manageable level, not to mention all of the lives that will be saved.

      You don’t think that meth is physically addictive? I think those who have become addicted to it would beg to differ with you on that. Why would someone continue to use meth when it takes them to hell and back over and over and over again? Could it be because it’s so addictive or do you think they enjoy the agony it puts them through?

      • Misinformation Campaign says:

        “Meth cooks are increasingly using motels and hotels to make meth exposing untold numbers of innocent people, including young children, to the toxic contaminants they leave behind.”

        Nonsense. This is a perfect example of scare-mongering and misinformation.

        Meth cooks use common houshold solvents, and moderately strong acids and bases. Sometimes used are certain metals, such as Lithium or sodium in the presense of anyhydrous ammonia, sometimes red phosphorus and I2, depending on the process. ALL OF THESE CHEMICALS HAVE MULTITUDES OF OTHER, LEGITIMATE USES, AND ARE USED EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY ALL ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, BY AVERAGE CITIZENS JUST LIKE YOU.

        It’s one reason meth is so popular.

        Are they toxic if ingested? Of course they are. Can they emit dangerous fumes during the cooking process? Of course they can. Do they leave lingering, poisonous residues that contaminate areas for years on end? Well, that’s part of the misinformation campaign. Men running around in hazmat suits generate sensational headlines to fund ever increasing budgets, and support tougher sentencing laws.

        Remember the old reefer madness video? How about the “ecstacy eats holes in your brain- from only ONE USE!!!!” campaign? Remember when communism was such a threat, and McCarthyism was rampant? Once the hype has settled down, we realized that these artificial demons weren’t really as scary as we’d been led to believe. This campaign against meth, while well-intentioned at its heart, is misguided and full of untruths, misinformation, skewed statistics, and outright lies. Just like the War on Drugs (TM), it is a war against a statistically significant percentage of our population, average citizens, who simply like to get high.

        You may not agree with their choices, and you may be shocked and disgusted with the lifestyle that some addicts choose to lead. You may think that drug use is immoral, unethical, dangerous, or against God’s will… But the fact of the matter is that its human nature to want to get high, alter consciousness, whatever you want to call it. No me, you say? Then you’re in the exceptional minority, or most likely a hypocrite.

        Nationwide, more people die from every year from prescription drugs than die from all illegal drugs combined. Don’t believe me? Google is your friend, check it out. Here’s one to get you started:

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-07/prescription-drugs-cause-more-overdoses-in-u-s-than-heroin-and-cocaine.html

        And don’t even get me ranting about Tylenol overdoses:

        http://www.ajpmonline.org/webfiles/images/journals/AMEPRE/AMEPRE_2545.pdf

        http://healthland.time.com/2009/08/14/70000-u-s-kids-overdose-each-year-%E2%80%94-accidentally-%E2%80%94-on-everyday-household-meds/

        Should acetameniphen be banned as well? How about ANYTHING toxic? Alcohol? Tobacco? Tanning in the sun too much? Well, why not? It’s for the CHILDREN.

        It is absolutely tragic when children get harmed, maimed, or killed because of a meth lab. Horrible beyond comprehension. But these statistics are far and few between, examples of the EXTREME, and not even remotely representative of the average drug user. They are sensationalised and over-reported because, again, they generate good headlines and further agendas. Even more salient of a point is that these particular children are victims of bad parenting much more so than they are victims of the “meth epidemic”.

        Personally, I am tired of giving up civil liberty after civil liberty at the hands of people attempting to legislate morality, protect against the unprotectable, and homogenize society because they are afraid of the decisions made by an extremely small percentage of the poplation at large.

        I don’t need you, nor my government to protect me and my family from all harm- I feel quite safe enough, and I protect my children through proper parenting, education, and honest information. Perhaps I value my freedom more than my safety, but the line has to be drawn somewhere, and I feel no need to continually criminalize certain substances, behaviors, acts, and ideologies because of the poor judgement of a few.

        Most who use drugs hold steady jobs and are productive citizens. The ones we hear about, the exteme examples plastered across the morning headlines, are not living on the finge of society because of drugs- they are living on the fringe of society for a host of other, more pertinent reasons, and use drugs as a means of escape from an otherwise desolate, hopeless, and uncaring world. For many, drugs are their only comfort.

        Futhermore, every new law creates a new criminal that has to be policed, tried, convicted, sentenced, and housed by the penal system. Perhaps if we spent as much money on education as we do fighting wars, criminalizing behavior, and legislating morality, and built as many schools and universities as we do penal colonies, then we might not find ourselves quite so afraid of the ever-present boogyman who’s been with us since the dawn of humanity.

        Would we be a nation of addicts if we decriminalized drug use? Ask youself one simple question- would you suddenly become an addict? No? Then why would anyone else, except possibly those who already make the choice to use drugs? Most of them have easy access in spite of the law, with only a small percentage of them ever graduating to “addiction”.

        Please stop being so irrationally afraid of everything that may cause you harm. You are far more likely to be injured driving or walking down the street than you are a meth lab or any other illegal drug. Children run far more risk of injury simply by the nature of being a child: climbing a tree, riding a bike, even playing high school sports. If you have already been the victim of a meth lab “incident”, then you have my deepest sympathy… but please know you are an extremely small percentile of the general population, and there are still thousands of other ways you could spend your time much, much more productively, than by spreading fear about exaggerated claims in such an already uncertain world. Want to protect the children? Childabusehomes.com might be a good place to start.

        • I don’t agree with you, but I am not going to get in to a spitting contest with you about meth and the dangers that it presents to our society. If you want your children to live near someone who’s making meth or live in a home filled with toxic meth lab chemicals, you have the right to do that. Good luck.

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