Purchasing over the counter meds? Bring a calculator (or go to jail)

Jonathan Wilde at Catallarchy comments on a story documenting an Illinois man’s arrest for buying Claritin D, which contains pseudo ephedrine (PSE), because he purchased enough for both himself and his son to take one a day for a month.

Rene Sandoval, Director of the Quad Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Agency -- the agency that enforces the law -- says it's meant to catch meth makers, and does.

"We've seen a huge decline in methamphetamine labs," Sandoval said.

But even if you're not making meth, if you go over that limit -- of one maximum strength pill per day -- you will be arrested.

"Does it take drastic measures? Absolutely. Have we seen a positive result? Absolutely," Sandoval stressed.

Alright, so arresting this guy for picking up a few tablets of allergy medicine is clearly a positive result, but I thought I’d do some digging anyway. I went to the Illinios Attorney General’s website and found their MethNet webpage. After much pointing and clicking, I was able to find a .pdf document that explained to me that in Illinois “a consumer may buy no more than 7500 milligrams of ephedrine or PSE in a 30 day period”.

Well, that’s helpful I guess, but I still wouldn’t know how much Claritin D I am allowed to purchase at one time, so I went to the Claritin website but gave up on figuring out the exact dosage of psudo ephedrine from that. A few google searches later I found out that:

The newly approved Claritin-D 12 Hour contains 2.5 milligrams desloratadine and 120 milligrams pseudoephedrine. The recommended dosing would be twice a day.

OK. Let me run and get my calculator. The recommended dose is 240 milligrams a day, so if I wanted to purchase a 30 day supply (not to be taken necessarily in a month, but just to avoid going to the pharmacy every time I need this stuff) that puts me at 7200 mg, so I’m OK.

I guess where this guy earned his jail time was for purchasing some for his son too.

I know when my wife asks me to run to the store to pick up some over the counter medicine for her cold or whatever ails her, I usually rush out the door. Looks like next time I’ll have to do some internet research and crunch the numbers…

[Update - Bloggers also taking note of this story: Windy Pundit, Poliblog, Outside the Beltway, The Liberty Papers, Reconstitution, Neither Red nor Blue]

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Comments (4) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Windypundit - December 24, 2006 1:22 AM

Since minors can't buy pseudoephedrine, parents have to buy it for them. So if a couple has three children who suffer from allergies they can only buy enough Claritin-D for two of them. I guess they have to decide which ones they love most.

dutchmaus - December 24, 2006 5:14 PM

I guess the parent has got to get each allergic kid a prescription for the OTC medication and hope that is enough to prevent his being arrested. The whole drug system is insane.

JollyRoger - December 27, 2006 9:31 AM

Beyond frigging nuts. I am glad to see there is a lot of attention being paid to this.

use of tramadol in veterinary practice - August 2, 2009 11:14 AM

r9TWF6 Great. Now i can say thank you!

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