Author(s): Brzeczko AW, Leech R, Stark JG
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The personal and societal effects of methamphetamine abuse are well documented. The ease of accessibility to methamphetamine and the quality of the "high" it produces makes the drug highly desired by its abusers. Over time, many methamphetamine users will also become methamphetamine cooks, where pseudoephedrine in over-the-counter cold products is converted to methamphetamine through a simple, albeit extremely dangerous, process. New laws limiting access to these products have had limited success. No existing commercial pseudoephedrine products offer significant impediments to slow or limit the extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine in clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: A new pseudoephedrine 30 mg tablet product using Impede technology (Nexafed®) to deter methamphetamine production has recently been introduced into the marketplace. Using methods designed to mimic clandestine laboratory processes, the ability of this product to disrupt extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine yet provide therapeutic effectiveness was evaluated. RESULTS: Impede™ technology tablets limited the extraction and/or conversion of pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine when compared to a commercially marketed pseudoephedrine product (Sudafed®). Nexafed® tablets were also shown to be bioequivalent to the same control product, thus ensuring therapeutic equivalence. CONCLUSIONS: With the advent of new pseudoephedrine products in the marketplace with features to limit the extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine, new tools are now available to minimize the clandestine manufacture of the drug and potentially limit its social impact.
This article was published in Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology