Where to find real TheraFlu
January 30, 2009 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Here in the US, TheraFlu was reformulated a few years ago (specifics) supposedly due to the meth panic. Anyhow I feel like I've lost the one thing that actually worked and helped me sleep when I get a cold. Is it feasible to buy the original formula on the gray market from overseas?
posted by crapmatic to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's nothing in it that you can't get form your drugstore; why not just put together your own cocktail? All you need is Tylenol, Chlortrimeton, Robitussin DM, and Sudafed from the pharmacist, and you have the same active ingredients.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:28 AM on January 30, 2009

Yeah, I'm doing that right now, but it doesn't work as effectively. Thus I'm asking if it can be bought from somewhere. I've never bought any drugs or OTCs online, much less from overseas, so I figure some MeFites might have some experience or suggestions.
posted by crapmatic at 9:38 AM on January 30, 2009

Anyhow I feel like I've lost the one thing that actually worked and helped me sleep when I get a cold.

I doubt you want the original formula. Pseudoephedrine does a lot of things but putting you to sleep isnt one of them. Its a stimulant. If youre getting sleepy its probably from mixing two downers: Dextromethorphan and Chlorpheniramine.

Or you can take some valerian root pills or some benadryl (Diphenhydramine) for the same effect.

Yeah, I'm doing that right now

Are you sure its the exact same dose as the original formula? I guess there's chance that the pseudoephedrine replacement is working as a stimulant for you. Try just Dextromethorphan and Chlorpheniramine.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:54 AM on January 30, 2009

Yeah, I'm doing that right now, but it doesn't work as effectively.

You might consider that there's a bit of placebo effect going on, where you don't feel as relieved because it's not in a single shiny bottle.
posted by Ookseer at 11:07 AM on January 30, 2009

If you are using Sudafed as a replacement, check to see what's in it. As your Theraflu wiki link indicates, the difference between the old and new formula boils down to replacing Pseudoephedrine with Phenylephrine hydrochloride. Most Sudafed I've seen recently is Phenylephrine, not Pseudoephedrine (what Sudafed was originally made of), so it would be equivalent to the new Theraflu, not the old.

As far as finding Pseudoephedrine, it really seems like they're phasing it out in countries around the world. The UK Lemsip (similar to Theraflu) doesn't contain it. Even Mexico has outlawed pseudoephedrine, and you can get just about anything over the counter there.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but it might be difficult / illegal / put you on meth watchlists.
posted by mosessis at 12:04 PM on January 30, 2009

RE: Pseudoephedrine in Sudafed

Sudafed PE is the reformulated version that does not containe Pseudoephedrine. The "old" formula, however, can be purchased from the pharmacist / beyond the counter as plain ol "Sudafed" (-PE)
posted by jckll at 12:10 PM on January 30, 2009

I know that the pseudo replacements do nothing for my congestion. I get the stuff from behind the counter now. I have a feeling that the pseudo is probably helping you get to sleep because it relieves the congestion and you breath easier.

Get the real stuff from behind the pharmacy counter and see if that is what is doing the trick.
posted by wrnealis at 12:15 PM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Phenylephrine is pretty much nonsense. Clinical tests are inconclusive when it comes to its effectiveness.

Usually what I do is get something with pseudophedrine in it from the pharmacist and then cobble together a few different medicines and mix them till I get the same combo as I could get a few years ago on the shelf.

(I am in California.)
posted by charlesv at 12:41 PM on January 30, 2009

Neo Citran with pseudoephedrine. Neo Citran being the Canadian TheraFlu equivalent; it comes in a few varieties. I can vouch for feelbest.com as a Canadian on-line pharmacy -- great to deal with when I was in the US; they have a brick-and-mortar where I live now -- not clear if they sell a Neo Citran that's exactly like the Theraflu (sorry, bit rushed here).
posted by kmennie at 12:47 PM on January 30, 2009

Fake Sudafed doesn't work. It is incredibly annoying to get Claritin-D from behind the counter every two weeks, but the stuff works like it is supposed to, and a Rx with Sudafed in it costs about the same (Allegra-D is $100/90 days, Claritin-D is $90/90 days).
posted by ijoyner at 2:49 PM on January 30, 2009

Did you check your local pharmacy? Last I checked, Theraflu with pseudoephedrine was still available, it just got moved from store shelves to behind the pharmacy counter (like everything else with PSE in it).
posted by neckro23 at 3:01 PM on January 30, 2009

Definitely mix your own. The generic versions of these different drugs are cheaply available.

Like, for example, the Claritin-D. You can get generic WalClair-d or whatever, or get generic claritin, and generic pseudoephedrine from behind the counter. Anyway, there's no reason to be hopping yourself up on Sudafed if you are taking an antihistamine- the antihistamine should stop the inflamation at its source.
posted by gjc at 5:33 PM on January 30, 2009

« Older Help me preserve this leather saddlebag!   |   How to find live shea plants in the US? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.