Bring Your Photo ID to the Pharmacy

20151015-cough-syrups With the cold and cough season around the corner, be ready to show your photo ID when purchasing cough and cold medicine at pharmacies in Silicon Valley.

In late 2011, California was the first state to pass a bill mandating retail staff to request appropriate identification if a purchaser of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) appears to be under the age of 25. This legislation also prohibits the sale of such medication, commonly found in OTC cough and cold medicines, to teens under the age of 18.

Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a cough suppressant. Unfortunately, “its perceived safety, ease of availability, and desired psychoactive effects” make it an easy means of getting high. Because the drug’s misuse has become more common, legislation was passed to prevent teen drug abuse of cold and cough remedies [1]. This legislation is enacted in California, New York, Virginia, Arizona and Louisiana, and will take effect on July 1, 2015 in Washington [2]. Canada has not adopted this legislation yet.

“If you have a bad cough, take laxatives. Then you will be afraid to cough.”
Hope your cold or cough passes quickly. Get well soon!

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Related articles:
[1] ABC News: Over-the-Counter Cough Medicines Escape FDA Restrictions
[2] Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA): Dextromethorphan: Preventing Teen Cough Medicine Abuse
  •   National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP): California Law Prohibits Sales of Dextromethorphan (DXM) Products to Minors
  •   Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Influenza Season
  •   National Drug Intelligence Center: Intelligence Bulletin: Dextromethorphan (DXM)
  •   WebMD: Teen Abuse of Cough and Cold Medicine

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