The Phenylephrine. It Does Nothing

You know the Sudafed that you can still buy without handing over your license so that they can be sure you’re not using it to make meth? Yeah. That stuff doesn’t work.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida pharmacists say a popular decongestant in over-the-counter medications is ineffective at the Food and Drug Administration’s approved dose.

Phenylephrine is making its way into oral cold and allergy medications in response to new federal restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine, an industry standard decongestant that can be used to illegally produce methamphetamine.

As the late September deadline to move medications containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter looms, many pharmaceutical companies are reformulating some of their common cold and allergy medications to keep them readily available on store shelves. Most companies are switching to phenylephrine, which cannot be used to make methamphetamine.

But in a peer-reviewed letter to the editor of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, UF pharmacists Leslie Hendeles and Randy Hatton warn that phenylephrine is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream and will not work as well as medications containing pseudoephedrine. Hendeles, an FDA consultant who served on the agency’s pulmonary advisory committee for six years, said the FDA should further investigate the drug as more companies are beginning to use it.

“When it is ingested, it becomes inactivated somewhere between the gut and the liver,” Hendeles said. “More research needs to be done to determine whether higher doses can be effective and safe.”

I did an experiment with Sudafed on an unsuspecting but rhinovirus suffering Mrs. C once. I gave her the fake Sudafed with phenylephrine which did nothing to relieve her symptoms. Then I secretly replaced her phenylephrine Sudafed with the pseudoephedrine Sudafed that I was using in my underground meth lab which alleviated all of her symptoms and made her feel almost like a human being again.

On a different day I tried replacing her coffee with Sanka and she scalded me with it. The moral of the story is you can mess around with cold medication but never fuck with coffee.



  1. speaking as someone who relies on it as the only thing that will relieve my cold symptoms, I can honestly say that the new junk is a waste of time.
    Forking over your ID to get the real stuff is worth the annoyance.
    At least in MN you can buy 4 boxes at a time…which is good, cos last year I needed to buy it 3 times in a month, and they were hesitant to sell it too me the third time. Nazis.

  2. Yeah the fake stuff doesn’t work for me either.

    I always make jokes to the pharmacy people, but I don’t think they appreciate it. You know, something like, “I know you can only sell me this much this week, but it’s okay, it makes enough for the week.”

    Or I ask them if I can have an extra box and wink.

    Maybe next time I’ll pretend to bribe them with one of Ray Comfort’s fake money tracts. Haha.

  3. As someone who has to get a prescription for an ‘over the counter’ med (all Oregon residents have to get a ‘scrip for things like Claritin D that you can at least get in other states by just showing your ID), I have a pretty much open ended ‘scrip for the ‘D’ as it’s the only thing that works well on my allergies. The ‘new’ nyquil formulas without psedoephedrine are crap and you’d be better off popping a couple Tylenols and a double-bourbon chaser.

  4. well, i can’t imagine how the phenylephrine would work- it is used as a vasopressor in ICU’s, which raises a low blood pressure… i had no idea that phenylephrine could be used as a decongestant.

  5. As a naive Canadian, I only recently learned that codeine is a controlled substance in the United States. It’s over-the-counter here, which means that any nine-year old can go buy some. Most drugstores are trained to sell cough syrup only in reasonable doses and to people who don’t seem criminal (yeah, that’s a good idea), but it’s essentially uncontrolled. I didn’t even know that codeine could be used for anything recreational… it seems ridiculous. LIke using kool-aid to help you get high.

  6. Stephen Colbert got it right when it called it “jack-squat-a-cil”…it has never worked for me. Granted, I had a tendency to take the good stuff when I was just feeling groggy…2 with a cup of coffee and the thoughts in my head lit fires in your cities.

    You know, lithium batteries are often used in meth production so will I need ID to purchase those soon?

  7. your roight that stuff dont work but the DXM in it does about any thing over 4 tablets ech carrying 13mg of DXM will give you quite a buzz and it gets visual after about 6 ot 7 tablets

  8. @clay, I know about as much about OTC drugs that can be abused without having a Ph.D. but anyway, Clay are you stupid or something? really? i will bet you 100 dollars you can not find a single drug that has 13mg of dxm 10 or 15 easily but 13? but thats not the point, you can not get a buzz off of 90 mg of dxm maybe 150, and to even see visuals on dxm is rare, it would take about 350 mg with weed, 720 mg without, get your facts straight ra-tard

  9. I agree with the original post here. phenylephrine does absolutely nothing – at the prescribed dose and at double the prescribed dose. Gave up after two days; went to pharmacy; got the real thing.

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