Diversion Control Division, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

Chemical Handler's Manual

APPENDIX L – Notice: Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine can be used in the illicit Manufacture of Methamphetamine


Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine can be used
in the illicit Manufacture of Methamphetamine

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is issuing this notice to inform individuals and businesses handling ephedrine (EPH) or pseudoephedrine (PSE), or drug products containing these substances that these chemicals can be used in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine abuse is a major drug problem in the United States.

Criminals search for sources of EPH and PSE. EPH and PSE are List I chemicals under federal law, whether in bulk, single entity, or combination dosage forms.

Regulated persons need to know their customers so as not to become unwitting suppliers to a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.

Regulated persons shall report to the DEA Special Agent in Charge of the local DEA office the following information:

  1. Any regulated transaction involving:
    • an extraordinary quantity of EPH or PSE,
    • an uncommon method of payment or delivery, or
    • any other circumstance that the regulated person believes may indicate that
      the EPH or PSE will be used in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
  2. Any proposed regulated transaction with a person whose description or other identifying
    characteristic the DEA has previously furnished to the regulated person.
  3. Any unusual or excessive loss or disappearance of EPH or PSE under the control of the
    regulated person. The regulated person responsible for reporting a loss in-transit is the

Please refer to 21 C.F.R. § 1310.05(b) for details on method and timing of reports and 21 C.F.R. §§ 1310.03 and 1310.04 for details regarding recordkeeping requirements.

Additional requirements may apply such as import and production quotas (21 C.F.R. part 1315) and transactions involving retail sales (21 C.F.R. part 1314).

It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess or distribute EPH or PSE, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, the EPH or PSE will be used to illegally manufacture methamphetamine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration thanks you for your cooperation in this matter.

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