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Thread: How to buy codeine OTC in certain US states

  1. #1
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    Default How to buy codeine OTC in certain US states

    Yes it is still possible!

    There are certain US states that sell codeine cough syrup OTC as a schedule 5 exempt narcotic, meaning you have to sign for it, be over 18, and only buy 1 bottle every 48 hours. However, if you have actually tried to purchase this it can be almost impossible to find a pharmacy that will actually do this.

    For those who are interested, I thought I would share my method for finding these rare gems:

    Go on google places or google maps and type in pharmacy then your hometown. A map will be displayed with dots for all of the pharmacies in that area.

    Expand the map out to include all the surrounding areas for as far as you would be willing to drive.

    Call these pharmacies and simply ask if they sell cheratussin over the counter.

    My experience has been that about 1 in 5 of these will do it. I've managed to find 3 within 45 minutes of where I live, which is nice because when I do need to make this purchase I just rotate them and none of these pharmacies sees very much of me. I actually found one in the city that sells it, but they are very rude about it and act like they don't want to do it. Plus their policy is that you can only get it from there once a month. The smaller pharmacies that I go to are very friendly and don't raise an eyebrow at my request. Also I like to take a glance at the register when I am filling it out, just to see how much of the stuff they are selling, that way I know how much I stand out at that particular pharmacy.

    I just wanted to share this with all who may be interested, because it kind of pisses me off that something that is legal over the counter has become near impossible to get for those that may need it. Hopefully this helps someone!

    PS - I live in Ohio. I believe the states where this is possible are Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Washington state and Massachusetts
    Last edited by MsLynne; 09-26-2012 at 04:47 PM. Reason: wanted to add state info


  2. #2
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    Excellent post, and if needed I'm right by one of the listed states. I'm sure I could locate it somewhere

    Thank you for the info

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    I forgot to mention the most important thing: Call the pharmacies that are off by themselves in the middle of nowhere, or if there are only a few in an area, and one is locally owned and the rest are the big corps, the local is more likely to sell it. I live in a big city and started off calling independently owned pharmacies in the cities with no luck (except for one out of dozens). The one in 5 statistic is when calling the rural pharmacies.

    One time I was at walmart near cedar point and just thought I would try it there, so I went up to the counter and asked for it, and low and behold, they sold it to me!

    I don't know if this matters or not, but I'm always dressed professionally when I go to these places, usually I'll go right after work. Stuff like that shouldn't matter, but I think that it does make a difference.
    Helpful Lord, Cash, Cristiano Rated helpful
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    Couldn't believe it, but I googled this (exempt narcotics) and there were all kinds of hits including wiki had the history and law change dates....alot of detail, it was the only hit I opened (of couse the PR post showed up along with all kinds of posts from other similar boards). Now if there were just some exempt benzos....
    Helpful Binky Rated helpful
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  5. #5
    It is still legal in Indiana and funny this came up because my daughter has pneumonia and 2 days ago went to the doctor and along with the other scripts, he told her to get something tussin but it wasnt cheratussin, a codeine cough syryp and found that Walgreens and CVS here dont keep it behind the counter anymore, I dont know why but she went to our family's small mom and pop pharmacy and they had it. She didnt like it, says it taste like crap. She ended up having to rent a nebulizer and was prescribed albuterol and skipped the cough syrup.
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  6. This is some great knowledge so thank you for every one who is posting I haven't been able to find any pharmacies located in a lot of the southern states suck as Georgia , Alabama , Tennessee , and Florida .
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  7. I have bought it at a few pharmacies in GA a while back. It is nothing to get excited about since the codeine dose is so low

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seiko View Post
    a lot of the southern states suck as Georgia , Alabama , Tennessee , and Florida .
    Being able to edit other members posts is a hoot, Don't ya think?

    221555066300ac0935 - How to buy codeine OTC in certain US states
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    OTC, not in my State and I live in a fairly Liberal East Coast state...weird.

    If anybody knows any LEGITIMATE online pharmacies to order Cheratussin AC (couldn't find any?) or Good Old Fashioned liquid Codeine without a prescription. Pm me.

    Very useful and handy to have a bottle in the medicine cabinet during the winter. It get's cold as a Witches Tit up here.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MsLynne View Post
    Yes it is still possible!

    There are certain US states that sell codeine cough syrup OTC as a schedule 5 exempt narcotic, meaning you have to sign for it, be over 18, and only buy 1 bottle every 48 hours. However, if you have actually tried to purchase this it can be almost impossible to find a pharmacy that will actually do this.

    For those who are interested, I thought I would share my method for finding these rare gems:

    Go on google places or google maps and type in pharmacy then your hometown. A map will be displayed with dots for all of the pharmacies in that area.

    Expand the map out to include all the surrounding areas for as far as you would be willing to drive.

    Call these pharmacies and simply ask if they sell cheratussin over the counter.

    My experience has been that about 1 in 5 of these will do it. I've managed to find 3 within 45 minutes of where I live, which is nice because when I do need to make this purchase I just rotate them and none of these pharmacies sees very much of me. I actually found one in the city that sells it, but they are very rude about it and act like they don't want to do it. Plus their policy is that you can only get it from there once a month. The smaller pharmacies that I go to are very friendly and don't raise an eyebrow at my request. Also I like to take a glance at the register when I am filling it out, just to see how much of the stuff they are selling, that way I know how much I stand out at that particular pharmacy.

    I just wanted to share this with all who may be interested, because it kind of pisses me off that something that is legal over the counter has become near impossible to get for those that may need it. Hopefully this helps someone!

    PS - I live in Ohio. I believe the states where this is possible are Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Washington state and Massachusetts
    I live in Ohio as well. You mentioned that you found one in the city, do you mind telling me which city?

  11. Definitely not in my state on the west coast. I'd love to have a bottle of codeine in my bathroom shelf just for the occasional bad sore throats I get (mostly in the winter). My experience is most dr.s hate to give that stuff out.

    Nothing worse that a hacking cough.

  12. #12
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    That is interesting. It is available in my state- at least it is on the list, but I've never heard of it before. It seems silly that a doctor would give a prescription for something similar and not mention the availability of something OTC for future problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonna View Post
    That is interesting. It is available in my state- at least it is on the list, but I've never heard of it before. It seems silly that a doctor would give a prescription for something similar and not mention the availability of something OTC for future problems.
    They probably don't mention it because even though it is available without a prescription, it is extremely difficult to actually do so. Plus I think a lot of people don't even know about this. Some of the pharmacies I have called even tell me that it is by prescription only and seem suprised that I would think otherwise. Maybe they are just saying that though, I don't know.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MsLynne View Post

    There are certain US states that sell codeine cough syrup OTC as a schedule 5 exempt narcotic, meaning you have to sign for it, be over 18, and only buy 1 bottle every 48 hours.
    Are you treating a persistent cough or nasal congestion?

  15. When I get bad coughs, I always ask the pharmacist what the best cough syrup on the market is, and they've never produced a bottle of codeine for me. That's amazing that in some states it's legal OTC.

  16. #16
    The best remedy for a cough and nasal congestion is Grand Marnier in a sniftner 15 seconds in the microwave. Try to take a sip and the steam alone will clear your head. Trust me. Try it.
    Helpful Shayna, GreenThumb, Owlie Rated helpful

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    Quote Originally Posted by billyboy1965 View Post
    The best remedy for a cough and nasal congestion is Grand Marnier in a sniftner 15 seconds in the microwave. Try to take a sip and the steam alone will clear your head. Trust me. Try it.
    That sounds a little freaky :-)
    Helpful Keith K Stone Rated helpful

  18. #18
    That idea sounds terrific and glad to hear it is effective to boot!

    I will have to pick some up as I don't keep it in the house on a regular basis.

    I have been wanting to keep some codeine cough syrup as well but am preferring to try other more attainable remedies.

    One I tried recently was a mixture of equal parts of honey, vodka and lemon juice -- tasted good and worked as well or better than regular robitussin.


    Quote Originally Posted by billyboy1965 View Post
    The best remedy for a cough and nasal congestion is Grand Marnier in a sniftner 15 seconds in the microwave. Try to take a sip and the steam alone will clear your head. Trust me. Try it.
    Helpful Wish Rated helpful

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Cash View Post
    That sounds a little freaky :-)
    Don't knock it until you try it. Definitely works better than the new Nyquil formula. Google around and you'll even find it listed as a "hot toddy" just for that purpose. Buy the knock-off stuff. No need to pay triple for brand when the knock-off for this works just fine.

    *This post was auto-merged. The following text was added 5 minutes after the last post:*
    @Shayna

    One I tried recently was a mixture of equal parts of honey, vodka and lemon juice -- tasted good and worked as well or better than regular robitussin.

    When I was a kid, pre-teens even, my mom would make me drink hot tea, lemon, honey and a shot of whiskey when I had a cold and then put me in bed with a two inch layer of Vicks vapor rub on my chest and the vaporizer with Vicks in it going all night.

    The tea stuff tasted horrible but she made me drink it. In this day and age, she'd probably be reported to child protective services.
    Last edited by billyboy; 09-30-2012 at 04:08 PM. Reason: I'm screwing up the quotes.
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  20. #20
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    @billyboy1965 - not at the moment, but with winter fast approaching you never know when a bottle of this will come in handy!

    Plus a teaspoon or two combined with a regular OTC pain med works well for me for other aches & pains if I don't have anything better on hand.


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