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In Massachusetts, buying a good over-the-counter nasal decongestant requires picking a card from an empty spot on the shelf, taking it to the pharmacist, handing over your driver's license, and getting it from behind the counter. Only the larger drug stores bother. Meth, on the other hand, is apparently easier to come by. So here, from the the wonderfully named Journal of Apocryphal Chemistry, is a paper on how to make Sudafed® from Meth. :)

A novel and straightforward synthesis of pseudoephidrine from readily available N-methylamphetamine is presented. This practical synthesis is expected to be a disruptive technology replacing the need to find an open pharmacy. ❞
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Ha ha!

Seriously, in NY, you have to do the same (tough, since not many in NYC have a driver's license!), plus sign something that says you are not lying. Nowhere does it say what you're not lying about.
You know, when those laws came into place around here, I actually thought about that scenario. That's just rich...
Yeah. I hate this. In PA I have to hoard decongestants for allergy season.
Amusing. Here in MA, in a CVS, I went to buy some sudafed at the register and the cashier, who I'll guess hasn't finished high school yet, began sniping at me that it's the SAME THING as the stuff on the shelves implying I was just being a pain for no reason as she struggled to find the sign-out book etc.

I asked her if she really was ready to discuss the comparative pharmacology of detromethorphan or phenylephrine (on the shelf) versus psuedophedrine, maybe point me at some journal articles bearing her opinion out?

Well, needless to say she practically spat venom in my face, it wasn't the right approach, so I shifted to "how about you just do your job and cut the uneducated opinion?"

That sort of thing has happened more than once to me, in different pharmacies. It brings out the "what makes you so special?!" in the cashiers who basically haven't a clue what this is all about and maybe get yelled at if they do it wrong?
Especially given that phenylephrine doesn't actually work, and dextromethorphan does something else entirely.
+Amanda Walker I had a really nasty sinus thing two weeks ago, and I hadn't gone to the trouble of getting the real stuff. The OTC meds were completely useless.
I do not believe in drugs. I would rather see a nautropath.
The only non-prescription oral decongestion drugs I find work are pseudophedrine (sudafed) and guaifenesin in sufficient doses (1200mg, Mucinex maximum, a lot of OTC preps only have like 150mg which does nothing), the latter mostly for chest congestion.

P.S. Take into consideration on that dosage that I am a physically large guy, 6'2" and 240lbs so half might be enough for most people, but not 1/10th!
I know personally what you go thru. Im a Pharmacy Technician and we deal with this every day. The government controls the amount you can get in suphedrine. I'm not sure about other states but I know Kentucky has to go thru the government data base to see if you can purchase it yet again. I feel for those who truly need it but when you have people come in high on drugs and ask for sudafed, then there should be a law for these people who abuse it to make meth!
+Amanda Walker I hear you, and agree! The pseudo-pseudoephedrine that they let you buy without the third degree is a a placebo with uncomfortable side effects - I guess they threw in the stuff that makes you feel worse so you think it's doing something.

I have to take that pseudoephedrine and guaifenesin every day to avoid ear infections, and be able to breathe through my allergies when I sleep. The fake stuff doesn't do the job, at all. I used to get the combo in a long acting cheap, by prescription, and in a 90 day supply. Then Mucinex bribed the FDA to let them, but only them, sell guaifenesin extended release OTC, and suddenly my costs went up 10x, then PSE went to the "sign for only a 10 day supply" and my costs doubled again. What I used to get for $30 is now $150. A rip off in the name of patents and the "War On (some) Drugs".
Forgot to add in my original comment that when I went to buy the Sudafed a few weeks ago, I had to go to three stores to get it.

The first place told me only stores with pharmacies can sell it now. So, I went to a pharmacy, and they were out. I went to a third place, and had to go through the third degree. I told the clerk I bet it's easier to get heroin!
Gratuitous fact: Guaifenesin comes from the guiaic tree, its medicinal powers were well known to Native Americans and taken back to Europe by the Spanish. The tree is in the same genus as Lignum Vitae, the hardest wood, so-named ('wood of life") because of its curative powers.
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