Pseudoephedrine Laws by State 2023

State Sale Limits

Generally speaking, each state has minor differences regarding pseudoephedrine and ephedrine sales. These drugs are found in certain sinus and bronchitis medications and are also used by some manufacturers to combat allergies. This is because pseudoephedrine is a corticosteroid, a type of drug that is useful in combating diseases and failures due to the body being weak. Commonly, they are used to treat asthma, bronchitis, acne, and allergies.

Each state restricts the sale of each medication, usually limited to 3 bottles or packs within a 90-day period. Further limits affect the number of capsules and gel packets found within, individually wrapped, and counted. This does not mean that over-the-counter medication has been outlawed for those with pseudoephedrine, merely that there is a limit to their purchase.

The FDA and Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005

Although this issue has been occurring for many years, it was made popular with the public with the Netflix/AMC series Breaking Bad, which brought to light different "cooks" or methods that illegal markets and organizations use to make methamphetamine (Meth). Pseudoephedrine is a vital ingredient for certain types of meth, which can be created and distributed amongst many territories.

The FDA announced in 2005 that they had released the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, signed on March 9, 2006, and put into the official legislature on Sept 30, 2006. The law called for comprehensive control and review of how pseudoephedrine and other related drugs are sold, distributed, and manufactured. Although the initial review included making this drug available only through prescription, there are many people within the American population who suffer from asthma, chronic sinus problems, and severe allergies. Without access to this medication, especially over the counter, it could cause fatalities and complications that could have easily been prevented.

Furthermore, those who require prescription drugs are also controlled and limited. This is because drug dealers tend to use “mules" or civilians that have been bribed or threatened to hand over the majority of their medication to drug cartels in order to boost the production of meth. While this is still an occurrence, the act has greatly reduced the amount of pseudoephedrine in circulation, which has curbed certain "cooking methods" of street meth.

Those With Nasal Problems

At the time of release, the FDA released multiple statements alerting customers to read what is on the label. For example, certain pharmaceutical companies voluntarily removed pseudoephedrine from their solutions in order to not have to comply with the limitations, as this would hurt both the bottom and top line of their balance sheets. Certain states already concerned with drug sales within their jurisdiction were hardly affected, as their strongest policies were already in effect to control over-the-counter medications for street drugs and other problems. Florida has the harshest penalties for drug possession and trafficking.

Pseudoephedrine Laws by State 2023