Sudafed: The Drugs I Need

Many of us suffer from allergies. For many of us, relief from that suffering is increaslingly being denied. An article in the New York Times notes that Oregon is the first state to now require prescriptions for pseudoephedrine. This is not because of people becoming dessicated from taking too much decongestent, but from the folks using it to make meth. This worry is also leading manufacturers to market products with less effective decongestants, according to the Los Angeles Times. One product, Sudafed PE, is already available, and as many as half a dozen other reformulated medications are expected soon. They will not contain pseudoephedrine, a popular decongestant that has been used in many cold and allergy medications such as NyQuil, Tylenol Flu and Claritin-D. Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in producing methamphetamines when it’s boiled and mixed with household ingredients. These new medications use a different decongestant, phenylephrine, which is considerably more difficult and expensive to convert into methamphetamines. Phenylprine is slightly less effective in treating colds and allergies in some people, works for only about four hours, and can slightly increase people’s blood pressure or a feeling of jumpiness more than other medications”.

I see this as yet another case of terrorism. As we saw with 9/11, the major effect of the terrorists has been to restrict the abilities of everyday people. Want to fly with your dad’s antique zippo lighter? You can’t. Similarly, want to get a 12-hour decongestant. Thanks to the meth-heads, you need to go make an appointment to see your doctor (costing you $$$) to get a script, or settle for something less effective.

Why, oh why, do we keep attacking the symptoms of the problems instead of the source of the problems?