Subject: Re: guaifenesin
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve Dyer)
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 05:54:42 GMT
In article <email@example.com>,
>Why is guaifenesin sometimes sold OTC and sometimes prescription only.
>It is available OTC in various combinations (with other drugs) but I have
>never seen it on the shelf alone.
[Speaking only for the US...]
Robitussin syrup (not -DM and not whatever the decongestant variant is called)
contains only guaifenesin as its active ingredient.
>I understand that it is available direct
>from the pharmacist who keeps it "under the counter" but why is it not on
>the shelf with the other cold remedies.
I suspect you'd either get a blank stare or a pointer to a bottle of
Robitussin or the generic equivalent in aisle 5 if you asked for the
"under the counter" version of guaifenesin.
>Also why are the larger doses "prescription only".
Don't expect this stuff to make sense. Generally it means that a
drug manufacturer that prefers to promote its products directly to MDs
applied for and was granted a NDA for a nostrum that could be sold OTC
provided they added OTC-appropriate labelling. But such labelling would
defeat the purpose of the "product", which is an OTC drug that requires
a prescription. They make a lot more $$$ on that, don't need to spend
$$$ marketing to the public, and the patient gets the satisfaction of
buying a prescription medication rather than being cheated out of a
prescription when his doctor tells him to buy a bottle of Robitussin
at Walgreens. :-)
It makes more sense to ask why the FDA allows this stuff to be sold as
an "expectorant" in the first place, since there's not a whole lot of
evidence of its efficacy. Indeed, the notion that there is a class of
orally-effective drugs that could be called "expectorants" is rather