I Know It Tastes Awful - I Want What Works
March 15, 2013 6:34 AM   Subscribe

Attention Canadian Mefites: any insight into why I can't get Buckley's anywhere any more in the USA?

Yes, I know it tastes like yeti semen. But it is a damn miracle drug for my coughs, and I've been using it since my local pharmacy recommended it to me five years ago. Recently, I've been suffering with stubborn phlegm after a cold, but I can't find it at any of the shops that the Buckleys' site says it's at, and all of the online shops listed say it's been discontinued. I've been trying to make do with Mucinex but it ain't doing jack.

Any word about what's going on? A recall? A formula tinker? Product testing to improve the taste? When can I get some again?
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Could just be a shortage right now due to the plant being shut down for maintenance in October. It's also been the most absurd flu season I've ever seen, SO many people sick... what was available probably went fast.
posted by lizbunny at 6:49 AM on March 15, 2013

The stuff contains pseudoephedrine and dextromethorphan. Serious question...Can medicines containing these ingredients be imported to the US anymore?
posted by Thorzdad at 6:54 AM on March 15, 2013

You can still buy pharmaceuticals with dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine in the US, but drugs with pseudoephedrine must be bought from behind the counter of the pharmacist and they take your personal info to make sure you're not running a meth lab.
posted by kamikazegopher at 6:56 AM on March 15, 2013

Response by poster: You can get pseudoephedrine over the counter in the US - you just have to sign for it and have them take down your ID information, and they log it to track whether you're buying a certain amount. So I'm not certain that that'd be the issue.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:58 AM on March 15, 2013

Best answer: There was a recall in January of some of the formulations, and a note that it might take some time for stock to replenish as a result.
posted by VioletU at 6:58 AM on March 15, 2013

Response by poster: So it sounds like there is indeed some temporary shortage. (Please say that yes, it is indeed temporary and I will get it back soon.)

So, follow-up question - have you found anything that works as well?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:02 AM on March 15, 2013

Personally, I find Delsym to be the best thing available in the US (OTC) for coughs. It uses a different drug than Buckley's though. Delsym and Sudafed is my go-to combination when fighting those symptoms.
posted by COD at 7:44 AM on March 15, 2013

I had trouble finding it (the pure menthol/camphor stuff -- without the pseudo or the DXM) in Canada (we looked in Toronto, London, and Kingston) when I was home over Christmas break, so it doesn't surprise me that you couldn't find it Stateside (since it's always been scarce, here, dammit).

The best alternative that I've found sadly, is really strong mint tea with a ton of honey. Nothing from the drugstore has that same magic.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:44 AM on March 15, 2013

Response by poster: Personally, I find Delsym to be the best thing available in the US (OTC) for coughs. It uses a different drug than Buckley's though.

Unfortunately it looks like Delsym is a suppressant; I'm looking for an expectorant.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:33 AM on March 15, 2013

I'm not familiar with Buckley's but a lot of OTC medications have the active ingredients of dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine. Don't see why you couldn't nose around the internet or pharmacy aisles and figure out a replacement or a combination of tonics to achieve the same effect. Here are some kid's meds that contain those ingredients.
posted by reren at 9:08 AM on March 15, 2013

Response by poster: Reren: those are the ingredients for the suppressant, and I'm looking for an expectorant.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:23 AM on March 15, 2013

Which product do you usually use? Knowing the active ingredients might help us find a suitable substitute. The original mixture, for example, contains:
Active Ingredients:
Each teaspoonful (5 mL) contains: 153 mg ammonium carbonate, 267 mg potassium bicarbonate, 22 mg menthol, and 2.2 mg camphor.

Non-Medicinal Ingredients:
Butylparaben, Canada balsam, carrageenan, glycerin, pine needle oil, propylparaben, sodium cyclamate, tincture of capsicum and water.
That's a weird sort of witch's brew that I've never personally seen in a cough syrup, but then I always go for cough syrups that are either straight dextromethorphan (for supression) or guaifenisin (for expectoration.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:39 AM on March 15, 2013

Response by poster: The original is what I use.

(I also just asked a Quebecois guy in my office what he's found to replace it, and he hadn't ever heard of the stuff - but offered to email his parents and ask if they could look for a bottle. Bless his heart, but I suspect they won't find it.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:47 AM on March 15, 2013

Response by poster: And yeah, I'm looking into the ingredients and finding they're awfully weird - but my hand to heaven, no matter how bad and phlegmy my coughs get, it breaks up the gak and stops me from coughing within ten minutes of taking a dose.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:48 AM on March 15, 2013

Best answer: Here is what Buckley's has to say about it's herbal ingredients. If you were really ambitious, I guess you could grab them from a health / organic store and make some concoction - to inhale if not to consume. Or, I wonder if you would be well-served by a combination of a guaifenisin (just find a bottle of cough syrup with that as the only ingredient) and Vicks on your chest, neck, under nose. I think Vick's is a good option given that Buckley's has that same "Oh my god it burns!" effect.

Don't worry. Buckley's isn't going anywhere. I (in Canada, though) never have trouble finding it.
posted by kitcat at 11:18 AM on March 15, 2013

Anecdata point: I just stopped by the nearest pharmacy (in Toronto) and they didn't have any of the Buckley's liquids.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 11:48 AM on March 15, 2013

Response by poster: I've actually been trying the straight guaifenisin, but that isn't helping anywhere near as much. (cries)

I may try the herbal ingredients, and maybe a leisurely visit to the steam room at the spa near me. My co-worker just cc'd me on the email he sent his mom and dad asking for a "faveur" for "une de me collegues de travail" (it's seriously one of the sweetest things I've ever seen), so here's hoping that there's some in Montreal.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:08 PM on March 15, 2013

Response by poster: Updating as resolved: thanks for the confirmation that this is truly a company thing. I was paranoid the FDC was barring it entry to the US. My co-worker said that his mama couldn't find it anywhere in Montreal (and she looked in four pharmacies, bless her), and I've figured out it was my allergies acting up all along so I'm gonna let it pass and wait until production cranks up again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 AM on March 19, 2013

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