Phenylephrine: Buzzword for 2005 cough & cold season

June 6, 2005

When the cough and cold season arrives this fall, consumers will be bombarded with a barrage of new over-the-counter medicines that contain the ingredient phenylephrine (PE).

When the cough and cold season arrives this fall, consumers will be bombarded with a barrage of new over-the-counter medicines that contain the ingredient phenylephrine (PE).

It's no wonder that manufacturers have been busy reformulating products since an increasing number of states have enacted laws restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine (PSE) products. Retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, and Sears Holding's Kmart have announced plans to place PSE products behind their pharmacy counter. PE products do not need to be restricted because they cannot be converted to methamphetamine.

Here's a sampling of some of the new items that will be available on the shelf:

Leiner spokeswoman Crystal Wright told Drug Topics, "We will have a comprehensive choice of PE products for our retail customers for store brands or private label." Leiner is planning to ship a 10-mg PE tablet, the generic equivalent of Sudafed 10-mg PE tablet, in July. And fall will see private-label generic equivalents for Actifed PE and Benadryl D Allergy & Sinus on the shelves.

"We'll also have some combo products, and we're thinking of new formulations for cough, cold, and sinus," Wright said. "We want to make sure consumers have access to legitimate cough, cold, and sinus medications on their shelves."

Wright continued, "As a supplier company, we've been planning this for a long time, and retailers can be assured they will have products on the shelf as an alternative for pseudoephedrine products pulled behind the counter."

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced its support for measures to reduce access to pseudoephedrine products and has suggested a set of national standards for selling products containing pseudoephedrine.