Evaluation of commercially available meth-deterrent pseudoephedrine hydrochloride products. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pseudoephedrine (PSE) extracted from its dosage forms can be used as the starting material to prepare methamphetamine by drug abusers. Recently, some pseudoephedrine drug products marketed under the over the counter (OTC) monograph have been promoted as 'meth-deterrent'. The goal of this investigation was to evaluate the extraction and dissolution of these product against controls of non-meth-deterrent products of pseudoephedrine. Immediate release (IR) PSE OTC Product-C, Product-D and Product-E with meth-deterrent claim on their packaging were selected for this study. Accordingly, OTC IR PSE tablet Product-A and OTC extended release (ER) PSE tablet Product-B, with no meth-deterrent claims, were used as controls. The extraction studies were performed on intact tablets or capsules and on manipulated products employing water, ethanol and 0.l N HCl as solvents. The extraction studies were also performed in water at elevated temperatures by heating the water in an oven and in a microwave. The dissolution studies were performed in water and 0.1N HCl. The amount of PSE extracted from Product-C was found similar to the amount extracted from the non-meth-deterrent control Product-A. The amount of PSE extracted from Product-D and Product-E was found lower than the amount extracted from control Product-A under the conditions studied. Product-A, Product-B, and Product-C met their respective dissolution acceptance criteria. The IR Products D and E released less than 50% drug in 12h and did not meet either IR or ER PSE tablet USP dissolution acceptance criteria. In summary, the extraction of Product-C was found to be high (approximately 85% in 30min) and was similar in extraction to the control Product-A. The extraction of Product-D and Product-E was found less than the extraction of control Product-A. Also, Product-D and Product-E did not exhibit complete drug release. This study showed that PSE can be extracted from Product D and Product E.

published proceedings

  • Int J Pharm

author list (cited authors)

  • Rahman, Z., Aqueel, M. S., Korang-Yeboah, M., Zidan, A. S., Chen, J., Alayoubi, A. Y., Cruz, C. N., & Ashraf, M.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Rahman, Ziyaur||Aqueel, Mohammad S||Korang-Yeboah, Maxwell||Zidan, Ahmed S||Chen, Jia||Alayoubi, Alaadin Y||Cruz, Celia N||Ashraf, Muhammad

publication date

  • January 2020