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Concept: Pseudoephedrine


INTRODUCTION: Systemic and topical nasal decongestants are widely used in otorhinolaryngology and general practice for the management of acute rhinosinusitis and as an adjuvant in certain forms of chronic rhinosinusitis. These products, very effective to rapidly improve nasal congestion, are sometimes available over the counter and can be the subject of misuse, which is difficult to control. The Société Française d'ORL has recently issued guidelines concerning the use of these decongestants in the doctor’s office and the operating room. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The review of the literature conducted by the task force studied in detail the concepts of “rebound congestion” and “rhinitis medicamentosa” often reported in a context of misuse, particularly of topical nasal decongestants. The clinical and histopathological consequences of prolonged and repeated use of nasal decongestants have been studied on animal models and healthy subjects. RESULTS: Discordant results have been obtained, as some authors reported a harmful effect of nasal decongestants on the nasal mucosa, while others did not identify any significant changes. No study has been able to distinguish between inflammatory lesions induced by chronic rhinosinusitis and lesions possibly related to the use of nasal decongestants. DISCUSSION: The task force explained the rebound congestion observed after stopping nasal decongestant treatment by return of the nasal congestion induced by rhinosinusitis and rejected the concept of rhinitis medicamentosa in the absence of scientific evidence from patients with rhinosinusitis. CONCLUSION: Nasal decongestants are recommended for the management of acute rhinosinusitis to reduce the consequences of often disabling nasal congestion. They are also recommended during rhinoscopic examination and for preparation of the nasal mucosa prior to endonasal surgery.

Concepts: Sinusitis, Topical, Mucus, Pseudoephedrine, Nasal congestion, Topical decongestant, Rhinitis medicamentosa, Decongestant


A number of methods of clandestine manufacture of methylamphetamine involve the extraction and subsequent reaction of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride with other essential chemicals. The precursor can be easily extracted from over-the-counter medication widely available in the UK and elsewhere. Essential chemicals such as iodine and red phosphorous are also readily available and can be extracted from iodine tinctures and matchboxes, respectively. This work reports the repetitive preparation of methylamphetamine using two popular routes (the Moscow and Hypophosphorous synthesis). The focus was on the extraction solvent used for isolation of the precursor chemical and any consequential isotopic variation which may arise in the final product. Six batches of methylamphetamine were prepared under precisely controlled conditions for each synthetic route and for each of three different precursor extraction solvents. Synthesis of the final product from laboratory grade precursor using the synthetic methods described was used as a template for comparison. The resultant IRMS data from all 48 prepared samples suggests some underlying trends in the identification of the synthetic route which may aid in the interpretation of IRMS data derived from clandestine samples.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Over-the-counter drug, Food and Drug Administration, Methamphetamine, Clandestine chemistry, Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylpropanolamine


Intranasal medication for eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is an established practice in otolaryngology through the effects of steroids, decongestants, antihistamines or a combination of the above in reducing tubal oedema. The author has previously argued that a double-blind, randomised control trial would be helpful in determining effectiveness of treatment, if a standardised head position, chiefly Mygind or Ragan, was adopted to maximise intranasal drop delivery into the eustachian tube orifice. One recent paper suggests that intranasal treatment is not very effective, but ultimately does not state whether a standardised head position was adopted. Although a large body of evidence supports the hypothesis that the nasal passages are the route to middle ear disease, there is as yet no paper that has been published that has specifically addressed this issue, therefore the author must conclude that evidence to support intranasal treatment for ETD is still lacking and further research is desirable.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Auditory system, Middle ear, Eustachian tube, Otitis media, Ear, Pseudoephedrine


This paper focuses on the determination of route specific impurities produced when methylamphetamine is synthesised using the Birch reduction. Previous work available in the scientific literature reported only one route specific impurity using ephedrine hydrochloride as the starting material. In this paper we investigated the impurity profiles of methylamphetamine produced from both the salt and base forms of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. A new previously unreported route specific impurity was revealed as was the potential absence of the previously reported impurity in the profile of samples prepared from the free base.

Concepts: Lithium, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Clandestine chemistry, Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, Methcathinone, Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005


A recent government’s prohibition policy in Poland was partially successful with a reduction of the synthetic drugs market and a decrease in drug-related poisoning mortality rates. However, a new threatening trend is observed. There are a growing number of individuals in Poland and other European countries using legal pharmaceuticals containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to produce stimulants. This case report describes a history of a male patient with polysubstance dependence who administered self-designed ephedrone derived from Sudafed using potassium permanganate. He revealed significant clinical symptoms of manganese-induced parkinsonism. No effective treatment could be recommended. Awareness of this severe neurological and social consequences should lead to prevention efforts including educational programs and initiatives reducing availability of the legal medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. More research is needed to enhance our knowledge about manganism and potential treatment regimens.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Drug, Pharmaceutical drug, Methamphetamine, Recreational drug use, Pseudoephedrine, Manganese, Methcathinone


Restrictions on retail purchases of pseudoephedrine are one regulatory approach to reduce the social costs of methamphetamine production and use, but may impose costs on legitimate users of nasal decongestants. This is the first study to evaluate the costs of restricting access to medications on consumer welfare. Our objective was to measure the inconvenience cost consumers place on restrictions for cold medication purchases including identification requirements, purchase limits, over-the-counter availability, prescription requirements, and the active ingredient.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Prescription drug, Pharmaceutical drug, Over-the-counter drug, Cost-benefit analysis, Food and Drug Administration, Methamphetamine, Pseudoephedrine


BACKGROUND: This qualitative historical policy analysis explores Japan’s early postwar market for hiropon (methamphetamine/meth) and the impact of its anti-hiropon campaigns. The paper traces the origins of medical methamphetamine production in prewar Japan; known at that time by its former brand-name, ‘Philopon’ (pronounced hiropon), and argues that the anti-meth ‘shock-horror’ campaigns of the 1950s were exacerbated by long-simmering animosity toward non-Japanese residents - especially Koreans and Taiwanese. METHODS: Through an analysis of both English- and Japanese-language source materials, the paper explores the gritty, frightening themes of Japan’s 1950s-era anti-meth propaganda campaigns and the parallel effort by police to arrest, prosecute, and deport members of the resident Korean and Taiwanese communities. RESULTS: The author demonstrates that by incorporating a wider variety of contemporary Japanese-language sources such as news reports and anti-drug propaganda materials about the postwar hiropon trade, we may more fully appreciate the historic, underlying social tensions behind the swift and targeted public response. CONCLUSION: The author concludes that Japan’s postwar federal and municipal governments, together with police and media agencies, cultivated a sensational ‘drug panic’ designed both to dissuade citizens from using hiropon and to fuel a concerted police campaign against non-Japanese involved in the meth trade.

Concepts: Heroin, Amphetamine, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, MDMA, Clandestine chemistry, Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine


The prevalence of chronic otitis media with effusion (COME), and Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is high in Down syndrome (DS) patients. This often necessitates multiple tympanostomy tube (TT) placements resulting in a higher rate of persistent tympanic membrane ™ perforation requiring tympanoplasty for repair.

Concepts: Auditory system, Middle ear, Eustachian tube, Down syndrome, Otitis media, Ear, Pseudoephedrine, Patulous Eustachian tube


Ketorolac tromethamine (KTC) with phenylephrine hydrochloride (PHE) binary mixture (mixture 1) and their ternary mixture with chlorpheniramine maleate (CPM) (mixture 2) were analyzed using a validated HPLC-DAD method. The developed method was suitable for the in vitro as well as quantitative analysis of the targeted mixtures in rabbit aqueous humor. The analysis in dosage form (eye drops) was a stability indicating one at which drugs were separated from possible degradation products arising from different stress conditions (in vitro analysis). For analysis in aqueous humor, Guaifenesin (GUF) was used as internal standard and the method was validated according to FDA regulation for analysis in biological fluids. Agilent 5 HC-C18(2) 150×4.6mm was used as stationary phase with a gradient eluting solvent of 20mM phosphate buffer pH 4.6 containing 0.2% triethylamine and acetonitrile. The drugs were resolved with retention times of 2.41, 5.26, 7.92 and 9.64min for PHE, GUF, KTC and CPM, respectively. The method was sensitive and selective to analyze simultaneously the three drugs in presence of possible forced degradation products and dosage form excipients (in vitro analysis) and also with the internal standard, in presence of aqueous humor interferences (analysis in biological fluid), at a single wavelength (261nm). No extraction procedure was required for analysis in aqueous humor. The simplicity of the method emphasizes its capability to analyze the drugs in vivo (in rabbit aqueous humor) and in vitro (in pharmaceutical formulations).

Concepts: Pharmacology, In vivo, Analytical chemistry, In vitro, Buffer solution, Food and Drug Administration, Separation process, Pseudoephedrine


It is common practice to prepare the nasal mucosa with decongestant in children undergoing lacrimal surgery. Xylometazoline 0.05% (Otrivine) nasal spray is commonly used. It has been reported to cause cardiovascular side effects. In the absence of formal guidelines on the safety of the use of nasal decongestants in children, we reviewed our practice to answer the question: How safe is preoperative use of xylometazoline in children undergoing lacrimal surgery? To our knowledge, this is the first study to address the potential side effects of the use of xylometazoline preoperatively in children undergoing lacrimal surgery.

Concepts: Scientific method, Philosophy of science, Mucus, Pseudoephedrine, Topical decongestant, Rhinitis medicamentosa, Decongestant, Topical decongestants