Why no OTC muscle relaxants?

Odd coincidence: I was reading the Pit thread about NyQuil being kept behind the counter in the hope that it’ll thwart meth users, and I am also having what I refer to as a lady’s backache. Menstrual cramps. I coined the term in high school while asking a male teacher for a pass to the nurse’s office.

Anyway, I took a couple of ibuprofen, but that’s all I can do, because it’s no longer possible to get muscle relaxants OTC. :mad: Pamprin, or Doane’s Pills used to work wonders for both the backache and for hangovers. Now all you can get is ibuprofen.

So is there a reason why you can’t get muscle relaxants without a prescription? More War on Drugs malarkey, or did a lawsuit prompt their removal from the shelves, or what?

Well, googling Pamprin and Doans Pills turns up vast numbers of links whereby one may purchase them, so either you’re missing them at your local pharmacy or your pharmacy just doesn’t carry them.

I’m in California. State law, perhaps?

Meanwhile, thanks for the headsup on ordering them!

Two weeks ago, while in an Atlanta Kroger, I saw Pamprin in the drug area while I was looking for off-brand Advil, so I would guess yes on it being a state law (didn’t seen any Doan’s, though, as I wasn’t looking for muscle relaxants).

Or possibly just local market forces.

I’ve seen Pamprin in the pain-relief section of stores in New York, Arizona, Alaska, Rhode Island, Virginia, Ohio, Oregon and Washington in the last couple of years. I tend to pay attention to the pain-relief aisle as I have chronic inflammatory joint disease and an allergy to most common painkillers :slight_smile:

The pain-killing ingredient in Pamprin is acetaminophen (Tylenol). The other two ingredients are a diuretic and an antihistimine that is supposed to help with irritability.

There’s also an herbal one that one of my friend’s mom’s used to take. We snuck some, and while they did relax our muscles, they also had a very distinct smell, which we later noticed was printed on the bottle… something about “To prevent abuse, these caplets have a very distinct aroma.”

Bullshit. That’s what they smelled like.

We have products containing the muscle relaxant methocarbamol available OTC in Canada (Robaxacet, Robax or generic equivalent). Sometimes pharmacies keep them behind the counter (and they may have a small, non-prescription dosage of codeine added as well).

Not sure what the situation is like in the States, but you may want to ask your pharmacist. Good luck!

Maybe there are some concerns about OTC muscle relaxants being used as a date rape drug.

A victim too weak to defend herself, or even one completely immobilized, would totally be at the mercy of an attacker.


Doan’s Pills are Magnesium Salicylate, an asprin sort of cognate …

also known as Bayer Select Backache Pain Formula, Doans Pills, Magan, Mobidin, Nuprin Backache Caplet … try looking under a slightly different name.

Not that they are a muscle relaxant, just a basic pain killer…

For the record, neither Pamprin nor Doans are muscle relaxants, but analgesics and/or anti-inflammatories.

A lot of the conditions for which skeletal muscle relaxants are indicated may have a serious underlying cause which requires the attention of your physician (ie a cerebral or spinal disorder).

Skeletal muscle relaxants have a slight habit forming potential especially when combined with alcohol, which can greatly potentiate a muscle relaxants effect. However, they are not controlled medications.

These are the two greatest factors which keep muscle relaxants from OTC-hood.