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If I ever meet someone that makes amphetamine or methamphetamine, I'll be tempted to kick them for making my life unnecessarily difficult. Because of their use in manufacturing the aforementioned drugs, phenylpropanolamine (PPA) was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 2000, I got the third degree every time I bought Tavist ASH because it contains pseudoephedrine (which is not its only active ingredient, but I switched to regular Tavist to save the headache at checkout), and finding ephedrine is increasingly difficult.

Ephedrine as a bronchodilator has been mostly replaced by salbutamol (aka Ventolin or albuterol), but Vogon prefers it for less unpleasant side effects than what he's experienced with albuterol and long-acting bronchodilators. He's used Bronkaid (25 mg ephedrine sulfate/400 mg guaifenesin) for years without having trouble finding it in stores, but our local Walgreens recently stopped carrying it without advance notice.

I went online in search of a source for ephedrine or ephedrine/guaifenesin that holds a DEA controlled substance distribution license and follows federal requirements for selling products containing ephedrine. I found one, filled out and faxed back their account file form with two forms of ID, then ordered one unit (375 tablets) of 25 mg ephedrine HCL and one unit (360 tablets) of 25 mg ephedrine HCL/400 mg guaifenesin since their site said nothing about limitations on ordering ephedrine-containing products aside from establishing an account file with them. The next day, an e-mail arrives from a customer service supervisor that consists of the line "We can only send one order of the HCL every 30 days to you!" and their signature block.

This confused me because the "HCL" after "ephedrine" refers to it being in a salt form (to be water-soluble). Many pharmaceutical products are available as hydrochlorides, so it's like a hardware store saying you can only buy one blue item per month without specifying whether the blue item is paint or tape. I turned the e-mail over to Vogon to reply, since he's much better than I am at translating from confused to clear and speaking in their language back to them. We'll see what happens.


In the meanwhile, I love how easy buying music from the iTunes store is -- after buying Sweet Honey In The Rock's children's albums for the midget last week, I bought myself two Laura Cantrell albums (Humming by the Flowered Vine and a 2003 live album originally released on eMusic) over the weekend and I'll be burning backups of them later this week. Biko appears to like "14th Street" as much as I can tell from her reaction -- she also likes the Indigo Girls and definitely dislikes anything with bagpipes.


I plan to try this recipe from Susie Bright the next time I remember to buy tomatoes: The Best Spaghetti You Ever Had.


Rest in peace, Bob Moog.


Aug. 22nd, 2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
What a pain!!!
Aug. 22nd, 2005 08:27 pm (UTC)
Don't move to Oregon! After passing a law last year which makes us have to show our IDs to get Sudafed, we now must have a doctor's Rx to get this common OVER THE DAMNED COUNTER medication. So all those people w/o insurance? Can just suck it up and deal with having a cold, 'cause they can't get Theraful or anything else now.

Aug. 22nd, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
You can't buy those things OTC? Wow. No problems purchasing them here in New York.

I'm amazed BronkAid works better for Vogon than albuterol. I find that BroinkAid leaves my throat and chest feeling like they've been reamed with a bottle brush, whereas generic albuterol works great for me. I also use Advair 100/50 (fluticasone/salmeterol inhalation powder), and since starting that, I only have to use the rescue inhaler maybe twice a week. For comparison, I was using it 4-5X/day with Spiriva before Advair, and was hospitalized several times with asthma attacks, once spending four days in ICU. So Advair's clearly the way to go, at least for me.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 01:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, it does give you that sort of wide open feeling, doesn't it? LOL I was on Flovent and am still supposed to be on it, but it makes me so nauseous that I finally gave up and quit taking it. Albuterol gives me shaking fits that are just miserable. About 30 seconds or a minute after I first inhale it, there's this feeling that sort of reminds me of the sound that metal makes when it's ripped apart. I still keep it around, but it's only for really serious emergencies. The only side effect of BronkAid is that it makes me drowsy in a big way for about half an hour after it starts to take effect.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
Vogon's bought BronkAid at our local Walgreens for as long as he's been living where we are now, so it disappearing from their shelves was a surprise.

I can find products containing pseudoephedrine, but the hassle of acquiring it curbs the urge to stock up when I find a good sale price. Oklahoma passed legislation last year that puts medication containing psuedoephedrine behind the counter, limits how many packages can be bought at once, and customers must show ID and sign for them. It's still easily available here in Dallas, but stores are voluntarily starting to restrict access.

Earlier this year, a couple from Oklahoma was arrested after a routine traffic stop revealed that they'd been driving around north Texas shoplifting pseudoephedrine a couple of boxes at a time from drugstores.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 06:03 pm (UTC)
On the way up to Rhode Island, I saw Laura Cantrell play in North Carolina.


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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