“A Simple and Convenient Synthesis of Pseudoephedrine From N-Methylamphetamine”

It’s come to this:

Pseudoephedrine, active ingredient of Sudafed®, has long been the most popular nasal decongestant in the United States due to its effectiveness and relatively mild side effects [1]. In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to obtain psuedoephedine in many states because of its use as a precursor for the illegal drug N-methylamphetamine (also known under various names including crystal meth, meth, ice, etc.)[1,2]. While in the past many stores were able to sell pseudoephedrine, new laws in the United States have restricted sales to pharmacies, with the medicine kept behind the counter. The pharmacies require signatures and examination of government issued ID in order to purchase pseudoephedrine. Because the hours of availability of such pharmacies are often limited, it would be of great interest to have a simple synthesis of pseudoephedrine from reagents which can be more readily procured.

A quick search of several neighborhoods of the United States revealed that while pseudoephedrine is difficult to obtain, N-methylamphetamine can be procured at almost any time on short notice and in quantities sufficient for synthesis of useful amounts of the desired material.

Mind you, I’m almost certainly going to end up on a watch list now, just for linking to that article.  Well, I’ll be in good company.


  • KarenD says:

    OR you could see your neighborhood TCM herbalist, who has the only unadulterated form of ephedrine on the planet. No hoop-jumping req’d. 🙂

  • Trent says:

    I find it funny that it’s easier to vote than it is to get mild relief for the common cold. Well, not quite funny…

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