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New Pseudoephedrine Is Meth-Resistant

By March 29, 2012

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A Missouri pharmaceutical company is developing a new form of allergy and cold medication that law enforcement officials say could be a game changer in the fight to curb the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine. The new drug Tarex, to be marketed under the name Releva, cannot be used to make meth, the company claims.

The new form of pseudoephedrine could be on the market as early as this summer.

Because of the use of pseudoephedrine as a key ingredient in the manufacture of meth, many states have passed laws requiring retailers to place medications containing the ingredient behind the counter, requiring customers to sign a form before purchasing them.

Making Pseudoephedrine Prescription Only

Some states are now considering legislation to make all allergy and cold medication available by prescription only to cut down on the production of methamphetamine.

In light of these efforts, a form of pseudoephedrine that could not be turned into meth would be a welcomed development. Highland Pharmaceuticals of St. Louis hopes its new Tarex tablets will frustrate meth makers while remaining effective as a cold remedy.

Although the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration hasn't completed its testing of the new medication, early results have been promising, according to DEA spokesperson Rusty Payne.

Tarex Turns Gooey

For meth to be manufactured from pseudoephedrine, crystallization must take place, especially in the shake and bake or "one pot" method of making meth. Tarex interrupts that process because instead of crystallizing when it is heated, it turns gooey, testing confirms.

"Especially with the shake-and-bake method, you can't get meth out of it," said Emilie Dolan of Highland Pharmaceuticals. "It kind of gunks up."

Law enforcement officials in Missouri, West Virginia and Tennessee have also tested Tarex and have been encouraged by the results.

News Source: Company Says Its Pseudoephedrine Is Meth-Resistant

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Photo: © Highland Pharmaceuticals
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