Search info


Why do I have to purchase pseudoephedrine from the pharmacy and sign for it?


In March 2006, the United States Congress enacted Senate Bill 103: the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, which requires any product containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, to be strictly regulated to help prevent the production of methamphetamine, an illegal street drug. Pseudoephedrine is a common ingredient in many cold and allergy relief products.

In April 2006, restrictions began limiting the number of packages of products containing these ingredients that can be purchased in one transaction and the number that can be purchased in a 30-day period. Since September 30, 2006, all products must be placed behind the pharmacy counter, and purchasers of any of the above items are required to show identification and sign a logbook.

In addition to the federal law above, many state governments have enacted their own laws regarding the sale of pseudoephedrine products. State laws may be more or less stringent than the federal law. Since pharmacies are required to follow the stricter law, pharmacies in different states may have different procedures to follow when selling pseudoephedrine products. If you have any questions about purchasing pseudoephedrine products, contact a local pharmacy in the state where the purchase would take place.

Any products containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine require a prescription in Mississippi, Missouri and Oregon.

View decongestants available on

Back to Ask a Pharmacist


Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices

20 Points
20 Points

Now you can track your blood pressure and blood glucose.

Start earning points Go Arrow