The Misuse of Common Over-the-Counter Medicines

Have you ever wondered why you must show I.D. and be over 18 when purchasing certain over-the-counter medications? This is because some OTC medicines have active ingredients with the potential to be misused at high doses or by being made into other harmful substances.


This is a common nasal decongestant, often found in over-the-counter cold medicines. But, shockingly, pseudoephedrine is also the main ingredient used to make methamphetamine (meth). The ease of obtainment makes it hard to ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands of someone who will use it in an illegal meth lab operation. Due to this, statewide restrictions exist on how old someone must be to purchase the product and how much someone can buy within a specific time. As of right now, there is no federal law classifying pseudoephedrine as a drug that requires a prescription to obtain. The lack of prescription requirement is another reason this drug is so easily obtained and widely used positively and negatively.

If your or a loved one faces accusations of using this medication for anything other than the intended use, contact our team at 618-800-3735; allow us to handle the legalities so you or your loved one can focus on healing.