We’re well into cold and flu season and you could be finding it harder to purchase the same medications you’ve always used.
Drugs containing the ingredient pseudofederine are no longer on the shelves at your local pharmacy. You now have to ask a pharmacist to purchase any drugs with that ingredient.
Pseudofederine is and ingredient used to make methamphetamine. Kentucky started regulating the purchase of pseudofederine in 2005 to help stop the manufacturing of meth.
A federal law began in 2006 saying every state must regulate the purchase of drugs with this ingredient.
“You can still get the drug that you need but it is going to take a little bit longer. There’s more things that are involved in making sure you can get that product,” said Melinda Joyce, corporate director of The Medical Center’s pharmacy.
Joyce said to purchase a product containing pseudofederine you have be at least 18-years old and show a valid ID to a pharmacist.
“Then from there you have some information you have to fill out as far as your address. You have to sign a log and the pharmacist will see if you’re within the amount of pseudofederine you can buy within a 30 day period,” Joyce said.
She also said although the drugs are regulated, it’s still hard to know if someone has purchased more than the legal amount.
“From pharmacy to pharmacy unfortunately there’s not anything that can tell you if you bought it at one pharmacy and then you go to another one,” Joyce added.
Joyce said some drug companies with products using pseudofederine were worried about access to their drugs, so they substituted or eliminated that ingredient so the medication could be purchased over-the-counter.
She said to make sure you know what you’re buying because the packages can be deceiving.
“Unless you read all of the ingredients and make sure you know what you’re taking, it may look like you’re getting the same drug when in essence you’re getting something different,” Joyce stated.
Joyce said the new medications still work but they may not be as strong or have the same effect as drugs with psuedofederine.
If you want the same results you’ve always had, she recommends just taking the time and talking to your pharmacist. Joyce said you are allowed to purchase three grams of pseudofederine a day and nine grams in 30 days. That’s about a box of 24 pills a month. She said that’s plenty of medicine for someone who is using it for the intended purpose.
If you have any questions about these regulations or what medication you should be using, you should contact your pharmacist.