Category Archives: Legality of ephedrine

Here we discuss the legal status of ephedrine in the USA, Canada and other countries as well.

Ephedrine Figures Don’t Lie, But Liars Do Figure

I am so happy I found it finally!

Cops and ephedrine, opinion versus facts
For years I have been saying that prescription laws for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine were not a solution to the meth scourge, based on what I call “intuition and a sharp mind” and what my wife calls “common sense with a bit of arrogance” 🙂

I have many reasons to be opposed to the classification of pseudoephedrine as prescription only, as explained in my last post, but in short here are the main ones:

  1. The most important point for me is that such laws would be ineffective and unfair:
    Do you really believe that laws can stop drugs? Seriously? It is quite funny to think that people who already break the law by selling or buying illicit substances would suddenly stop because of a new law…
  2. Of course I understand that local cops would like to get rid of the dirty part of their job, cleaning up meth labs, but in that case why don’t they just support meth-proof pseudoephedrine? You can be sure of one thing on this planet: if there is market and money to be made, there will be somebody somewhere willing to sell to these people. So be sure that drug addicts will get their stuff anyway, probably from Mexico. The good news for local cops is that less meth will be cooked in the country and thus it will lower the risk for them.
  3. I have been discussing this matter with so many people, healthcare providers, journalists, patients, it’s amazing how unpopular this prescription law would be. People are not stupid.

So to come back to the point, why am I so happy? Because I had the feeling since years that we were lacking figures in that raging debate. Did you notice that opponents and proponents were usually trying to convince people by using high emotional triggers such as family, kids, home, life, sometimes even religious arguments?

I Prefer Facts and Figures

It’s finally the case today: a team of independent, distinguished and reputable professors of economics have conducted a study in Indiana about the costs and benefits of classifying OTC cold medications based on pseudoephedrine as prescription drugs only. Here is a link to this study published by Michael Hicks and his colleagues.
By the way, Michael Hicks is the George and Frances Ball distinguished professor of economics and the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University. I guess nobody, even cops, will question his expertise 🙂

What Are The Major Points?

1) Prescription laws don’t solve the meth problem. Studies of the experience of Oregon where pseudoephedrine became Rx in 2006 and Mississippi (Rx law in 2010) both have very clear results: “These laws had no impact on meth use in either state”.

2) The annual cost of such law in Indiana would be more than $90 million, mainly supported by law abiding citizen and businesses — quite expensive for a law that proved to be totally ineffective!


Knowing the figures, who would still argue that Rx prescription laws are a good idea and should be voted? Probably the same people not very happy to see these figures finally made public 😉
It’s hard to convince millions of people that they will lose millions of dollars because of a stupid law that solves nothing. Local cops will probably argue back, saying that these figures are not reliable and they will accentuate their lobbying 🙂
And you know what? Many politicians don’t care about figures, as they don’t really care about your health and the financial burden they put on you. As long as they keep their job! And the best way for that is typically to hide evidence (based on hard facts and figures) and to manipulate people (through emotions and values).

OK, I recognize that I am generalizing here, all politicians are not like that. But to be fair, and with all respect to our politicians, I prefer Michael Hicks’ figures to any persuasive speech. Because figures don’t lie.

Mike Budd


Offering Labs to Make Friends with Local Cops

Do you remember that Westport Pharmaceuticals had been hit by the DEA?

From Michael Ramirez, politicians like your pocketsIf you have no idea what I am talking about, no problem 😉
I’ll do a quick refresher to show you how they are playing with your health and money, it’s amazing! And if you want more details, have a look a this post: Ephedrine Sold Over the Counter, A Political Fiction

Credit: cartoon by Michael Ramirez from

Pseudoephedrine? Not Game of Thrones, But Close

So, why this crazy debate about pseudoephedrine?

  • Because it’s the best and cheapest allergy med, used by over 18 million American families.
  • But unfortunately drug addicts use it to cook meth.
  • Local cops ask for a new status for pseudoephedrine, from OTC to Rx. They are pushing hard on politicians to get this prescription law.
  • Yet Big Pharma would lose a fortune if pseudoephedrine becomes prescription only.
  • Politicians know that such law would be very unpopular among allergy sufferers who would have to spend time and money to get their medication.
  • Doctors know that a prescription mandate would be unfair and ineffective.

Quite tricky isn’t it?
It’s a kind of vicious triangle: Cops, Big Pharma and Politicians, with patients stuck in the middle.

A Game Changer

Here is where Westport enters the game.
This small US company has found a way to produce Pseudoephedrine that can’t be converted to meth!
For a normal (disinterested) mind, this product looks like a true win-win for patients and cops. But things are not so simple 😉
Let me explain.
Westport has asked for an exemption to be able to sell OTC and they were hoping for support from the DEA. What did they get? A slap in the face.
Why? I’m not sure. Apparently law enforcement wants a solution, but not THIS solution. Something else is apparently pushing cops and politicians harder than Westport. We are missing information here to be able to understand what happened, so all we can do is a guess work – and I love it 😉

Guess Motives

Let’s play the “guess motives” game: what do they have and what do they want?

  • Patients: they have allergies and they want their cheap pseudoephedrine OTC
  • Cops: they have to clean up meth labs. They know that meth won’t be stopped by laws but they don’t care, they just want to get rid of this dirty, dangerous part of their job.
  • Big Pharma: they make over $600 million in annual sales of pseudoephedrine and they want to keep it.
  • Politicians: they have their job and they want to keep it.
  • Westport: they have a solution and they want to sell it.

You’re The Boss Now

And now let’s play another game: what would you do if you were the Boss at Westport?
Let’s face it: competition is coming and you are still caught in this vicious triangle (Big Pharma, Cops and Politicians).
You have nothing to expect from your competitors who are probably trying to influence the other 2 players to kick you out.
A possible move would be to “influence” politicians directly but you have less power than the other pharma giants who have “connexions” everywhere since years. They even have an official lobby organization: no, not the FDA 😉 I’m speaking of the Consumer Products Healthcare Association.
As you can see, you don’t have many options and R&D alone will not help 😉 So what can you do?
Here is the trick: if you can’t influence the politicians directly , maybe you could try to influence them indirectly through the cops?

Good Guess!

Congrats! You made the right choice, you could be CEO at Westport 😉
That’s exactly what they did recently: they have announced a new partnership to provide K9s to police departments!

How to make friends with copsHere is an extract from the press release:
“We’re proud to partner with K9s4COPs to help connect local law enforcement with trained narcotic detecting hero dogs. As an industry leader in ‘good pharma’ solutions such as meth-resistant medications, we have the technology and solution to help put the vast majority of domestic meth-labs out of business, save taxpayer dollars, and make our communities safer places to live in,” said Paul Hemings, Westport’s U.S. General Manager. “We’re committed to healing individuals and communities any way we can. The only labs we support are those with four legs and a tail.”

They even uploaded a video to Youtube:

How smart is that!
If I were you, I would immediately buy some stocks from Westport! Seriously.
For the moment they try to make friends with cops by offering dogs 😉 but when politicians will finally give them exemption to sell their meth-proof pseudoephedrine over the counter when all others will need a prescription, their stocks will skyrocket. You  will thank me later. And no, I have no stocks from Westport 😉

Just as for Game of Thrones, I can’t wait until the next episode 😉

Mike Budd


Another Canadian Website Charged For Selling Ephedrine

Do you remember how ephedrineforsale has run into trouble with the Canadian police for selling and shipping ephedrine to the USA? If not, here is the post with videos explaining what happened to Rob King, owner of ephedrineforsale.

Well, another Canadian website has just been hit in the same way: NiceAndNatural.

It started in January 2013 when the Canada Border Services seized a package returned from the U.S. to NiceAndNatural with 500 ephedrine tabs inside. Generally speaking webshops hate returns, guess what when they are selling ephedrine without a licence 😉

Ephedrine seized at the Canadian border
Does this pouch look familiar? Of course! The name of the manufacturer has been blanked out by the customs officiers but most guys here know what is our preferred brand for pure Ephedrine HCL.



Then later in May the Canada Border Services Agency received a notification from the New Zealand customs officials who had seized 3 packages of ephedrine shipped by NiceAndNatural.
Another ephedrine seized in Canada








It was enough for the Canadian Customs to launch an investigation and since that point of time, the process has been quite similar to the previous one with ephedrineforsale:

  • First the Canadian Border officials got a court order allowing them to access the website to track everything.
  • Then they established a surveillance of the 2 owners of the website, a father, Barry James MacKinnon, 63, and his daughter, Kelly MacKinnon, 36, living in Charlottetown.
  • The next steps are classical: picking up garbage bags containing hundreds of shipping documents, finding the postal outlet used to mail ephedrine boxes to the USA, for instance to Florida, Texas, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
  • And finally seizing business paperwork and computers.

As NiceAndNatural had no licence for selling Ephedrine outside of Canada, the MacKinnons have been charged with four offences under the Customs Act and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and will be judged in February. By the way I heard that Rob King is scheduled to appear in court in March.

That’s it. A bit scary, isn’t it? It gives you an idea of the current pressure being put on Canadian sellers.

When you read that, as individual you might think that ordering ephedrine online is not legal as it is a controlled substance and as online sellers get charged. It’s totally wrong: ephedrine is controlled but legal! Depending on your state you will have to fulfill some requirements (driver’s licence) but in all cases it is perfectly legal to purchase ephedrine as bronchodilator, knowing that you might lose weight also. The persons who are identified as buyers in the documents seized by the Canadian Customs officials have nothing to fear, just as people who had purchased EC stacks from ephedrineforsale.

Be sure that people who are currently lobbying to change the legal status of ephedrine in the USA are doing their best efforts to get local bills passed in cities and counties to restrict the sales of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine. In other words: we know that the opponents of ephedrine are mainly drug agents and law enforcement, not doctors nor patients.
If cops could pass laws, ephedrine would be totally illegal in the U.S. since long ago and fortunately it is not the case. Until now there has been no change at federal level, there is even a recent debate since some states have challenged these local bills saying that it had to be decided at federal level only. I will come back to that in another post.

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That’s all for now, don’t be afraid by all the buzz around ephedrine, it is mostly a psychological pressure that some officials are trying to put on law abiding people.
I see more and more people reacting to this unfair situation. Taking into account the new game changers I wouldn’t be surprised that the controversial case of ephedrine will be reconsidered one day.

Keep in touch,
Mike Budd

© 2011-2013 Ephedrine, Where To Buy? All rights reserved.

The Futility Of Prescription Laws For Ephedrine

Each time I read news about another meth seizure I see the confirmation of what we already know: passing laws requiring a doctor’s prescription to buy ephedrine or pseudoephedrine will NEVER stop the supply of this drug (or any other drug) to the USA as long as there is a market and people willing to pay for it.

Come on, who really think that a new law will ever solve the never-ending drug problem?? Do you see the irony? Another law to fight something that is already illegal?? And in case it wouldn’t produce any result and just put burden and cost on honest people, what should we do? Another law I guess? Seriously…

For me the real motives of such RX laws are to stop the local manufacture of meth because it represents a real cost and risk for all drug agents and neighbors of meth cooks. I respect that, everyone has to fight for his/her own interests. I understand the lobbying done by law enforcement to push in favor of prescription laws. But.. I would appreciate that all interests could be measured here, and that’s exactly the job of Politicians, to see the global picture and to make the right decision for the majority of people they represent, taking into consideration all important aspects, costs of course but also social factors in general.

Because one thing is sure: they may pass whatever law they want to restrict the sales of ephedrine, it will never have the slightest impact on meth abuse in the USA. Just have a look at the two following seizures and try to imagine how many pills these quantities of drugs seized can represent 😉

CBP makes third meth seizure in three days

MCSO: 51 pounds of meth seized in recent bust, one of largest in department’s history

Impressive, isn’t it?

Mike Budd.

© 2011-2013 Ephedrine, Where To Buy? All rights reserved.

Shocking DEA Position On Meth-Resistant Pseudoephedrine

Do you remember all the buzz last year around this new generation of meth-deterring pseudoephedrine, based on a new formulation that makes it impossible to convert into meth? If not, just have a look here and there.

Best News For Ephedrine So Far

For us these promising new products were the best news for ephedrine since years because it could give full access to ephedrine over the counter and at the same time prevent local meth production: a real win-win for honest patients who don’t need a doctor’s prescription and for drug agents who don’t have to clean dangerous meth labs.

The condition for this win-win is to pass state laws that require a doctor’s prescription with an exemption for pseudoephedrine that cannot be converted into meth. In fact these new products Zephrex-D and Nexafed make only sense if the companies get exemption to the federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 (CMEA) that keeps ephedrine behind the counter.

Considering all consequences we were quite sure that officials would take their time before giving a positive answer to the exemption request 😉

Political Tricks

– In March 2012 already, Westport applied for an exemption to CMEA

– In December 2012 the DEA informed them that the exemption was denied.

– In May 2013 six Missouri congressmen urged the DEA to reconsider their position and to allow “unrestricted access” to Zephrex-D, in other words an OTC status, calling the new meth-resistant products “a huge advancement in our fight against this scourge.” It was signed by five Republican Reps. and one Democratic Rep.

– Boom! In a letter dated May 6, James Shroba, the DEA’s acting special agent in charge of the St. Louis office, notified Westport Pharmaceuticals in these terms: claims that Zephrex-D is meth-resistant are wrong since DEA chemists were able to product meth from it.

What about that? Seriously, how could expect such position? And how to explain it?

A US pharmaceutical company is coming with a potential solution to the epidemic meth problem fought by law since decades and what do they get in return? A slap in the face.

Emilie Dolan, director of marketing and media relations for Westport Pharmaceuticals, politely said that the DEA’s message was unexpected and that they have had a good relationship with the agency, working together to try and come up with a solution.

Paul Hemings, vice president at Westport, reacted in a less political way 🙂 saying that the DEA’s letter came as an “absolute shock”.

Our Point of View

This dispute shoes what powerful political stakes are in play here. Remember what we like to say: “politicians care about power, companies care about money and doctors care about people”. With exceptions of course but true most of the time.

– Drug agents want to get rid of cleaning meth labs because it’s dangerous for them. They push prescrition laws for ephedrine (hard lobbying) because they think it’s the best way to achieve their goal. Now the good question: would they stick to their point if it was proven that a prescription law would not decrease meth abuse (it will come from Mexico) and that it would also put a burden on law abiding citizens? In other words, how much do they value their own interest when conflicting with other people’s interest?

– Wesport Pharmaceuticals are confident: recent independent laboratory tests of Zephrex-D demonstrate that meth cannot be produced from Zephrex-D using the famous One Pot method and extraction/conversion manufacturing methods convert less than 0.5% of the pseudoephedrine into meth. It means that instead of 11 tablets of standard pseudoephedrine (30mg) needed to manufacture one dose of meth, you would need almost 1800 pills of Zephrex-D. The cost would be $450 instead of $2.30! Meth cooks are not that stupid 😉  The more advanced techniques achieve a less than 2% production of meth out of Zephrex-D but in that case this small amount of meth produced is still locked in excipients that cannot be smoked, injected or snorted. So what?

Again, what could explain this DEA position? It’s just guess work from our side but for us it has more to do with the lobbying still done by law enforcement for prescription laws for ephedrine, and also with the competitive advantage given to Wesport that probably has pushed other pharmaceutical companies to react.  Somebody in our group even mentioned that maybe the DEA did not like the fact that Wesport was communicating so much on crime protection (see below a screenshot from and also anticipating on the decision about exemption.

DEA denies Zephrex ad slogan as meth-resistant ephedrine

Anyway. Here is the DEA Letter to Westport Pharmaceuticals


Read all these official messages between the lines, with one focus: what is their primary goal here and what is the driving force? And then make your own mind.

Mike Budd.

© 2011-2013 Ephedrine, Where To Buy? All rights reserved.

About Ephedra Distachya And Diet Pills

Ephedra Plants

I have received two nice pictures of ephedra plants and I take this opportunity to say some words about ephedra: we speak a lot of ephedrine HCL, the synthetic form of ephedrine that is made in laboratory and we sometimes forget about the natural form that grows in so many places and countries, the so-called Ma Huang and here in the following pictures, a member of the Ephedraceae herbs called Ephedra Distachya, the other name of Ephedra Vulgaris. This variety is famous for its high level of ephedrine alkaloids but you would have to spend a lot of time to extract these alkaloids by yourself 😉 If you are not afraid of this challenge, go ahead, the extraction process works basically like making tea; Mormons have understood the benefits of this plant and they have been early fans of the physiological effects of ephedrine (energy level, metabolism, appetite reduction, fat burning), in such an extend that ephedra or Ma Huang is also known as Mormon Tea.

Ephedra Herbs Are Not Banned

There is also a point worth mentioning: the herbal form of ephedra has not been banned by the FDA, it is totally legal to buy ephedra herbs in the USA, in any quantity: if you do your own decoction instead of buying ephedra diet pills for your weight loss program, no one can object, it is your right to do so. It is even legal to grow your own ephedra for personal use.

Greedy People

A few days ago I saw a page online about ephedra products that upset me a bit, it was this kind of site that has only one purpose, which is to make you buy products sold by websites owned by the same persons or companies. I have found many wrong information there, for instance they try to convince you that only ephedrine HCL is effective for weight loss, not ephedra products. You know it’s not true: the powerful fat burning effects that we mention frequently come from these alkaloids that you find in ephedrine HCL and also in ephedra plants that naturally contains these alkaloids. Just keep in mind that behind these different names, there is only one active principle or chemical component that confers the characteristic weight loss action: it is this special alkaloid called ephedrine.
In other words, you get the same effects from ephedrine HCL than from ephedra-based products if you have the same quantity of ephedrine alkaloids in both cases.

Bad Intention, Bad Information

The other point that bothered me was that this site was saying that the FDA had banned the weight loss supplements based on ephedra plants due to dangerous additional chemical compounds found in these plants! And also that ephedrine HCL was not as dangerous as herbal ephedra. Come on… All serious people know that the FDA was targeting ephedra (ephedrine) specifically. The controversy came from the fact that the FDA justified this decision by safety concerns when ephedrine has been proved safe and effective by most medical studies. Who doesn’t know today that the real reason of the ban had to do with drugs control, ephedrine being a precursor of methamphetamine?  Other point, why would ephedrine HCL be less dangerous than herbal ephedra? Based on what? They have the same side effects. People who publish such information are not serious, they have no medical background, they just want you to buy ephedrine HCL and only that, not herbal ephedra or pills containing ephedra alkaloids.

Trust Their Disclaimer Only

That’s it, I know I talk too much when I am upset. In a nutshell: don’t trust all information found online, these guys want your money, that’s all. To be polite in most cases they have no idea about their selling topics, they just copy and paste information from serious sites. Just an example: they say that “additional chemical compounds” are dangerous, well then, please name these compounds and give scientific evidence that they are dangerous! What makes me laugh also (so to say) is that they pretend to have some scientific authority by adding one or two references at the end of their pages: just have a look, in most cases these references have nothing to do with the main topic of the page! If you want to see a real serious work on medical references, done by doctors, just have a look at our page about coffee or our article about the methodology of medical studies. Ask a doctor what he thinks about it, you will see what site is trustworthy or what other is not. The best page on all these misleading sites is their disclaimer! Often the same one, copied over and over 😉 I can resist the pleasure to quote them: “All content of EphedrineForIdiots is just an opinion and not advice and should not be taken as advice”. Don’t tell me 😉

Finally The Nice Pictures

OK now, here are the nice pictures of Ephedra Distachya I wanted to share with you:

Ephedra Distachya contains ephedrine alkaloids used for diet pills







Ephedra Distachya has ephedrine alkaloids with amazing weight loss properties









Photo Credit: bara-koukoug

Take care and again, use your common sense when browsing the web because some people out there think that you are just a stupid buyer. Ephedrine HCL or ephedra alkaloids, no difference in terms of weight loss, just make sure that you buy it from the right places.

Mike Budd.

© 2011-2013 Ephedrine, Where To Buy? All rights reserved.

New Meth-Proof Ephedrine for Sale

Goods news for cold, allergy and asthma sufferers, bad news for meth cooks!
Do you remember this post, Ephedrine For Sale Over the Counter Again? It was about a new generation of pseudoephedrine pills: Zephrex-D from Highland Pharmaceuticals has a special formulation process called Tarex™, making these tablets impossible to be turned into meth: crystallization is blocked during the ‘shake and bake’ or ‘one pot’ methods of making meth, when heated the chemical solution turns into a gooey substance.

After all these years, deploring that a minority of drug addicts was depriving honest people from all the benefits of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, not only as decongestant but also for weight loss, honestly we were quite excited by these news: for the first time since the FDA ban on ephedrine in 2004 we had a hope that this new proactive approach based on science, not law enforcement, could be a real game changer, even leading to ephedrine for sale over the counter as before the ban. Within the team we have been doing some political fiction: Ephedrine Sold Over the Counter, A Political Fiction, trying to foresee all the changes that this game changer would have for all involved parties: politicians, pharmaceutical industry, meth cooks, law enforcement officers, doctors and pharmacists and patients of course.

Meth-resistant ephedrine seen by the pharmaceutical industryRegarding the pharmaceutical industry, our guess was that this breakthrough innovation had severely weakened the position of all pharmaceutical companies involved in pseudoephedrine medications, compared to Highland Pharmaceuticals: first the new generation is leaving them without arguments in front of politicians who want to pass laws requiring prescription for ephedrine, making everybody (drug agents, patients, doctors and pharmacists) very happy except producers. Second point: they have to react to the new competition, either by investing in new formulations or by paying royalties to use Tarex™. In all cases they are losing profits.

Good Guess

Nexafed, another meth-proof ephedrine for saleApparently we were right, some pseudoephedrine producers have started to adapt. We were curious to know more about the price that Highland Pharmaceuticals was going to ask for the use of their formulation: it’s not official but we have heard that it could be about 2 cents a pill. Not a big deal for companies who don’t want or can’t invest in research. There is more: Tarex™ is not the only player anymore, Acura Pharmaceuticals, based in Illinois, has developed a proprietary process called Impede™ Technology that limits or disrupts the extraction of ephedrine from tablets for conversion into methamphetamine. Good to have competition!
In fact Acura Pharmaceuticals could have been the first company launching a meth-deterring pseudoephedrine but they failed one year ago during a  test performed by scientists working with a law enforcement agency: there are 3 common methods to produce meth out of pseudoephedrine and in one test method an unknown amount of methamphetamine, with unknown purity, was produced. Acura Pharmaceuticals decided to delay its commercialization activities for one year and now they come again with a product called Nexafed.

Is Nexafed really meth-resistant?

Chemical structure of methamphetamine on EphedrineWhereToBuy.comUnfortunately the Impede technology is not fully meth-proof: compared to a traditional pseudoephedrine tab, approximately half as much methamphetamine can be extracted from Nexafed when using the ‘shake-and-bake’ or ‘one-pot’ method (mixing the pills with volatile chemicals and shaking them together in a plastic bottle). When using other extraction methods, the Impede technology works fine, no meth can be produced from Nexafed. The argument of Acura Pharmaceuticals in order to relativize their results with the ‘shake-and-bake’ or ‘one-pot’ method is that it makes it less profitable for meth cooks… We are not sure that this argument will convince the Officials to get exemption from the federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA).
Highland Pharmaceuticals had better results: no labs would test Zephrex-D with the ‘shake-and-bake’ or ‘one-pot’ method because it’s too dangerous, so the Missouri Narcotics Unit did the tests with several combinations of chemicals and none of them produced meth.

Medical effectiveness

Ephedrine for cold, allergy and asthmaGood point for Acura’s product: a Phase 1 pharmacokinetic study in 30 healthy adult subjects has confirmed that Nexafed has the same effectiveness than other pseudoephedrine-based medications. The Impede technology does not compromise the effectiveness of the active ingredient, it is bioequivalent to Johnson & Johnson’s Sudafed® which is a reference. Acura’s president, Bob Jones, says that the product’s resistance to meth conversion was only a second priority, after medical effectiveness: “This isn’t about law enforcement, primarily. It’s about the consumer. If we make products available to the consumer that don’t work for them, we haven’t really fixed the problem”. Let’s give Acura the advantage over Highland here.


Good point again for Nexafed: you remember that Zephrex-D from Highland Pharmaceuticals was planned to be sold 10% higher than standard pseudoephedrine, it is not the case for Nexafed which is expected to be positioned at the same price than Sudafed®.

Ephedrine for sale over the counter?

We see many positive points in this announcement:

  • It is good to have a second player next to Highland Pharmaceuticals: competition profits to all.
  • We have a medical study confirming that meth-proof ephedrine can be as effective as ordinary products.
  • Same pricing as Sudafed® proves that these new products can be profitable despite the extraction-resistant formulation: no extra cost for honest patients and a contribution in the fight to curb the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine.

Ephedrine sold over the counter, back to the future!Acura has now to hope that Nexafed can break free of the pharmacy counter to true OTC status, knowing that their product is not fully meth-resistant with the ‘shake-and-bake’ or ‘one-pot’ recipes. Highland Pharmaceuticals has a clear advantage in the race to exemption from the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act. Both products, Zephrex-D and Nexafed, will likely remain behind the counter for at start, but if they get federal clearance then people will be able to buy ephedrine not only online and in pharmacies but also in gas stations, convenience stores or anywhere else.
Back to the future 😉

Mike Budd.
© 2011-2013 Ephedrine, Where To Buy? All rights reserved.

Harder to Get Ephedrine in Europe

So many things changed recently that it may be useful to do an update on the legal status of ephedrine in Europe but also in the USA, as Europe is usually following the US drugs legislation; remember for instance how Europe has copied the FDA ban on ephedra in 2004. The European drugs legislation is not totally aligned on the American one because each European state has its own laws and regulations, but they are progressively harmonized at EU level. Since 1997 there is an agreement signed by EU countries that authorize a free movement of persons and goods, defining the so-called Schengen Area. This means that European countries depend on each other to make sure that all imports are strictly controlled at the EU border because there will be no further check between two European countries within the Schengen Area. To sum it up and to come back to ephedrine, the EU Single Market is composed of independent countries that have their own laws about ephedrine but European laws are overriding them in order to protect the Schengen Area, since any entry point in Europe gives access to all states without further Customs control.

It is legal to purchase ephedrine in the USA?

Where to buy ephedrine in the USAYes, as explained in several posts such as Ephedrine for sale or Ezine Article about the Legality of Ephedrine in the USA, you can legally buy ephedrine and pseudoephedrine as bronchodilator for asthma in all US states, given maximal quantities of 3.6 grams per sale and 7.5 grams per month if delivered per mail and 9 grams if bought locally in a real store. Depending on your state, you will need a prescription or not, and most of the time you will have to show your ID at the pharmacy. You know our point of view regarding a prescription mandate: we are convinced that it would only put a unfair burden on honest patients without solving the meth problem.

Will it be easier to get ephedrine in the USA?

Let’s start with the USA as the leading nation for this topic.
The key factor is that a small US company has found a new formulation process that blocks the crystallization phase in the meth production thus no more risks that ephedrine and pseudoephedrine can be used in an illegal way. This is a real game changer and some cities or counties have already passed ordinances that takes this fact into account: see for instance the recent ordinances in St. Charles County and Manchester that require a doctor’s prescription but also include an exemption for products that are meth-resistant. We think that this win-win situation could establish a kind of case law statewide and relief counties and cities from the burden of local ordinances.

As you can guess, we had long discussions about this point within the team and you will find more information in this dedicated post, Ephedrine Sold Over the Counter, A Political Fiction. If our guess is right, the new meth-resistant product will have consequences for all concerned people: politicians, pharmaceutical companies, drug addicts, law-enforcement officers, doctors and patients.
In two words, pseudoephedrine and ephedrine should be progressively absolved from the suspicion as being precursors of methamphetamine, there is a chance that you will be able to buy ephedrine over the counter for the current legal usage which is cold, allergy and asthma. Why? Just because pseudoephedrine is by the far the best medicine we have for these conditions, ask any allergist, immunologist or pulmonologist for confirmation if you want. What about the FDA ban then? Well, we don’t think that politicians will have the courage to open this controversial file, there has been too much lobbying, hypocrisy and manipulation: most involved politicians and health officials have nothing to gain and much to lose, why would they explain that they have deprived millions of overweight and obese people of the natural benefits of ephedrine for weight loss? That would be a real surprise 😉 If ephedrine is not suspected anymore for its role in the production of meth, then the remaining issue about ephedrine and weight loss will be the safety issue and we are sure that politicians can live with that, just as they live today with the fact that common painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) kill thousands of people each year in the USA: “major adverse gastrointestinal events attributed to NSAIDs are responsible for over 100,000 hospitalizations, US$2 billion in healthcare costs, and 17,000 deaths in the US each year[1].
So the pressure will probably decrease, the current lobbying done by drug agents will disappear and people will get ephedrine as they used to do before the ban. Of course they will buy it for cold, allergy ans asthma, and if it also helps burning fat, well, let’s consider it as a positive effect for people who have a few pounds to shred.

How will sales of ephedrine evolve in Canada?

Where to buy ephedrine in CanadaAs neighbor of the USA, Canada has to align with US drug policies. Ephedrine is sold over the counter in Canada, not for weight loss but as oral decongestant and with a limit of 8mg per single dose or 32 mg per day. Despite the need of convergence regarding drugs regulations, Canada has today a more balanced approach on the legal aspects for ephedrine and as a consequence Canadian producers such as Kaizen are the main source for what we consider as the best ephedrine that you can buy legally: pure pharmaceutical grade Kaizen Ephedrine HCL without binders or fillers. The only restriction is that these companies can’t promote ephedrine for weight loss, it is meant as bronchodilator for the same authorized conditions as in the USA: cold, allergy and asthma. What would be our guess for ephedrine in Canada, taking into account the recent changes in the USA? Probably a reduction of the sales of ephedrine produced in Canada and shipped to the US: that makes sense. But for the internal Canadian market we have no idea if it will become easier to buy ephedrine or if it will become possible to promote it for weight loss. Again Canada is usually following the USA so if the pressure goes down in the USA we see no reason why it should increase in Canada, that would make no sense.

What about ephedrine for sale in Europe?

Where to buy ephedrine in EuropeYou might remember from our previous post, Are Purchase and Sale of Ephedrine Legal in Europe?, that the current legality of ephedrine varies from country to country. The key factor is that the European Commission is currently planning to strengthen the Customs controls on ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. You remember what we mentioned about the EU Single Market and the Schengen Area, well all the buzz about ephedrine in the USA and a recent scandal in Pakistan have drawn the attention of European politicians who have realized that while ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are controlled as substances, the sales of medicinal products which contain these two alkaloids are not controlled, this is why buying ephedrine online from a Canadian site for a delivery in Europe is perfectly legal, your shipment will not be stopped at Customs controls because importing an asthma treatment is legal even if it contains ephedrine.

Here is an extract of this EC regulation:

Harder to get ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in EuropeAs you can see in this text, the goal is to control the export of medicinal products containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine. The new law will allow Customs authorities to do more controls and to seize suspicious shipments when there is a reasonable suspicion that it may be used illegally for drugs. A European drug precursors database will be built to differentiate EU legitimate businesses from companies that provide narcotics producers. Apparently individuals are not targeted by this new law which will focus first on companies which export industrial quantities. The second step will probably focus on imports of ephedrine in large quantities by companies, not on small packages for people who have purchased ephedrine online. Two reasons for that: first, Europe doesn’t have the same meth problem as the United States, second, controlling individual packages bought online would be an overwhelming task in terms of resources for the Customs authorities.


Crystal ball for the future of ephedrine in EuropeWe see the future of ephedrine in Europe in two phases: the first one will restrict the sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine due to the new legislation and the second one will release the pressure as in the USA, when both products will be progressively disconnected from the drug issue. But this may take some time as it has to start in the USA before being copied in Europe and the rest of the world. We are not talking about tomorrow or the next week here, no need to go to a convenience store and look for ephedrine HCL on the shelves 😉 You will have to wait a bit on both sides of the Atlantic for that, but fortunately if your sinuses are completely blocked you still have the possibility to order ephedrine online: remember that we have updated our recommendation on where to buy ephedrine from trustworthy selling sites that have years of experience.

As usual, the last words are for safety: if you plan an EC stack (EC stands for Ephedrine plus Caffeine), for a cutting phase or just to boost your cardio training, you know that we have detailed a safe dosage here and a standard dosage there. Take some minutes to read and understand all potential side effects. Stay safe.


1. Edward J Frech and Mae F Go, “Treatment and chemoprevention of NSAID-associated gastrointestinal complications”, Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2009; 5: 65–73.

Mike Budd.

© 2011-2013 Ephedrine, Where To Buy? All rights reserved.

Ephedrine Sold Over the Counter, A Political Fiction

Our last post was about this new formulation, Tarex™ from Highland Pharmaceuticals, that holds promise in being able to get ephedrine and pseudoephedrine over the counter again. No prescription required, no ID check or form signature for NPLEX tracking reasons, not even sales behind the counter: a kind of dream for millions of people suffering from cold, flu, allergy or asthma.

As you can guess, we had long discussions in the team about the possible developments and we did a bit of “political fiction” that we would like to share with you 😉

Let’s have a close look at the possible consequences for all concerned people.


Will politicians authorize meth-resistant ephedrine to be sold over the counter?In case Highland Pharmaceuticals gets exemption from the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act 2005, they will be able to sell their product over the counter and the next logical step would be that politicians take this new factor into account in the local and state laws. A smart way to close the long lasting issue around the legality of ephedrine in the USA would be to find a win-win solution in the current debate:

Based on the new situation, this win-win solution could be to envisage a state law that would require prescriptions for pseudoephedrine and ephedrine produced in the old way, thus still usable as precursor of methamphetamine, but the smart idea would be that this same law would do an exception for the new meth-resistant products which could be sold over the counter. We have a very good example with the St. Charles County ordinance which already includes a clause of exemption from the prescription’s mandate for pseudoephedrine products that proved they could not be turned into meth. Such ordinance could establish a kind of case law statewide and would consequently relief counties and cities from local ordinances (thanks to Gabrielle Biondo, Editor for the Town and Country – Manchester Patch website, for all information we got from her articles).

Pharmaceutical Industry

Meth-resistant ephedrine seen by the pharmaceutical industryAs you can guess, the announcement by Highland Pharmaceuticals of a new met-resistant formulation has been a shock for all producers: as a real breakthrough innovation, this new concept could have a major impact on the sales of the new product Zephrex-D and a very negative one on the sales of its rivals.

  • One point is sure: the current pseudoephedrine-based products like Sudafed, Claritin D, Advil, Mucinex D or Zyrtec D will remain controlled if their formulation process is not modified.
  • The question will be about production cost and patents: will Highland Pharmaceuticals sell the Tarex™ patent rights to the other producers or will they keep their competitive advantage?
  • In what extend will Zephrex-D affect the sales of all controlled products if a prescription is required for them, when Zephrex-D will go to store shelves as OTC medication?
  • It also depends on the size of the market: the legality of ephedrine in Europe is not the same as in the USA or in Canada, what is the part of sales of ephedrine in the US compared to the rest of the world? Will the other countries just copy the American example, as they did for the FDA ban? Will they authorize meth-resistant formulations to be sold over the counter?
  • There is another point to be considered: will this new product from Highland Pharmaceuticals, Zephrex-D, be as effective as the competition despite the new formulation?
  • Last point: what will be the wholesale price? Highland Pharmaceuticals claimed that it would be only 10% above the current price of similar pseudoephedrine medications, but this has to be verified later on.

The economical implications have been clearly seen by some politicians at the Missouri House committee who already asked about the huge selling advantage that Highland Pharmaceuticals would gain from a law requiring prescription to all competitors and allow Highland Pharmaceuticals to sell over the counter. Highland president and CEO Jim Bausch had a laconic reply to that, saying about the big pharmaceutical companies: “Their approach has been to fight us“. Nevertheless Bausch says that Highland Pharmaceuticals is willing to help his dear colleagues to develop their meth-resistant pseudoephedrine too. We would love to hear about the price of this help 😉
The Consumer Products Healthcare Association, representing the makers of over-the-counter medicines, said that they were taking a wait-and-see approach on this new technology.

To sum it up, the new formulation has severely weakened the position of the other pharmaceutical companies: first it might encourage politicians to pass laws requiring prescription, thus making cops, patients and doctors all very happy and leaving the pharmaceutical industry without arguments. And second, they will have to react, either by investing in new formulations or by paying to use Tarex™. In all cases they lose profits.

Meth Cooks

Meth seen from the inside with Shadow People from Scott Thomas Anderson

  • The new extraction resistant formulation will for sure have an effect on the meth production, by making it so hard for meth cooks to find usable pseudoephedrine that it will probably result in a decrease of the so-called ‘ma-and-pa’ meth labs.
  • We have no idea how the meth market will evolve, we just can guess that it will remain attractive in terms of demand: meth addicts are not addicts because of meth but because of profound causes which would lead to other addictions if meth was not available anymore.
  • If meth becomes harder to find, they will switch to another drug, or the supply source will move to professional labs in Mexico or other classical countries of origin like in Southeast Asia for instance. Have a look for instance at this article from the Huffington Post about a seizure of 15 tons of pure methamphetamine in western Mexico …
  • The meth market will change from a home-cooked drug to an industrial level with a higher entry price in the US, more middlemen, in other words it will get closer to cocaine and heroin. This will have an effect on price: the current wholesale street price is close to $25,000 per kilo, no doubt that it will raise to higher levels soon.

Law Enforcement Officers

Cops say that ephedrine should be a prescription-only drugThis new drug environment will be a relief for local law-enforcement officers, as they will have less boring administrative stuff, for instance due to the NPLEX system, and as meth combat will go more professional they will probably step out of this role that they never really liked (some gossips say that it is the core reason of their active lobbying toward politicians for prescriptions laws). They will finally be be confined to a local role, supporting the DEA specialists. They will be happy to stop doing live surveillance of pharmacies, with officers sitting in parking lots with their binoculars, or risking their lives when cleaning meth labs full of highly flammable chemicals. Regarding the administrative burden that the NPLEX has put on them, we don’t really think that cops have been very proactive on such change management or that they have tried to identify potential trafficking patterns: most of them recognize that they didn’t change their habits and that they are still getting their information through the usual sources such as domestic violence cases, etc…

Doctors and pharmacists

Doctors would benefit from meth-resistant ephedrine sold over the counterSales of ephedrine over-the-counter would reduce the administrative workload for physicians and pharmacists who are currently busy with “gate keeping” activities such as filling out forms, checking IDs etc… We know many of them who would be happy to stop this law enforcement role and to focus on their real job, taking care of patients. It is not a secret that most physicians are against laws requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine-based products.


Pseudoephedrine and ephedrine for cold, allergy and asthmaLast but not least: most benefits would go to the patients who suffer from cold, flu, asthma and allergy. We know that in their vast majority, patients were strongly opposed to prescription. If pseudoephedrine becomes an OTC drug, they won’t have to plan a trip to the doctor with all the fun in the waiting room, considering also the higher health price for people with limited resources or those without health insurance.

That’s it for now, in the next post we will give you our best guess about the future official position regarding ephedrine for sale as diet pills, and if there is a chance that the new extraction resistant formulation could be a game changer in the weight loss market.

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© 2011-2013 Ephedrine, Where To Buy? All rights reserved.

Ephedrine For Sale Over the Counter Again?

A few months ago we heard about a true innovation that made us hope for a definitive solution to the major problem of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which is their precursor role in the manufacture of methamphetamine: a relatively small drug company, Highland Pharmaceuticals, has set fireworks in the industry by announcing a new formulation process called Tarex™ which can produced “meth-resistant” pseudoephedrine.

How does it work to be meth-resistant?

Chemical structure of methamphetamine on EphedrineWhereToBuy.comThe exploding rise of meth that has overwhelmed part of the Midwest, South and West is partly due to the fact that producing meth is relatively easy, especially with the “shake and bake” or “one pot” method. Meth cooks combine pills of pseudoephedrine with basic chemicals by shaking up the components in a 2-liter soda bottle. This process is very dangerous because the needed chemicals are highly flammable. A key step of the reduction of pseudoephedrine to meth is the crystallization phase when heated. This is where Tarex™ makes the difference: the process is stopped before crystallization can occur, due to the new formulation which turns the chemical solution into a gooey substance. “It kind of gunks up”, Highland Pharmaceuticals says.

Is it confirmed by officials?

Law Enforcement Officer on EphedrineWhereToBuy.comThe Drug Enforcement Administration has been very interested by this product, as it is a new proactive approach of fighting meth compared to classical methods: instead of chasing meth cooks, prevent them cooking meth! Preliminary testing of the Tarex™ process has been done, by using the same extraction method as used by meth makers. The results are positive at this stage and Highland Pharmaceuticals hope for a commercial launch of their product called Zephrex-D in early November, starting with pharmacies in the St. Louis area, close to the drug company’s headquarters.

Will it be sold over the counter?

Could ephedrine could be sold over the counter? More on EphedrineWhereToBuy.comFor the moment, all sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are strictly controlled: some states have passed laws requiring a doctor’s prescription and for the rest, retailers are asking customers to sign a form before purchasing ephedrine-based medications. Those using the NPLEX real-time tracking system even check if the purchased quantity is not exceeding the legal limit, which is a total of 3.6 grams per sale and 7.5 grams per month if delivered per mail or 9 grams if bought locally. Zephrex-D will begin its commercial life behind the counter as all other pseudoephedrine medications, but Highland Pharmaceuticals plans to sell it over the counter as soon as possible: they have already asked the DEA to exempt their product from the CMEA (Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act 2005) that forces to sell ephedrine-based medications behind the counter. But this might take time, from 6 months to 3 years, depending on the political treatment that this request will receive. We will come back to that point later.


These are great news, maybe the best since 2004.  Until Highland Pharmaceuticals gets exemption, nothing will change regarding ephedrine for sale online and behind the counter, people suffering from cold, flu, allergies or asthma will not see the difference. But as soon as Zephrex-D will be available in stores shelves, it could be a game changer for ephedrine.

In our next post, we will try to analyze the possible consequences for all concerned people.

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© 2011-2013 Ephedrine, Where To Buy? All rights reserved.