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New Law Limits Allergy Medications To Tennesseans

Pharmacists are constantly looking for red flags when it comes to pseudoephedrine. They can track how much you bought in the last month just by swiping your driver’s license.

A new state law that went into effect Tuesday aims at cutting down on meth production, but it could also make it harder for those who suffer from allergies to get the medicine they need.

RELATED: See 14 new laws that take effect July 1

Knox County resident, James Lillquist, is one of many Tennessee residents who needs to take allergy medication regularly. His symptoms are always the same.

"Stuffy nose, runny nose, mucus, just the overall sense of having a cold pretty much for full months," he said.

Allergy season is something many East Tennessee residents are all too familiar with.

"With the trees pollinating and everything, it’s 10 times worse than anywhere I have ever lived at and I’ve lived pretty much all over the United States," Lillquist said.

Relieving those symptoms used to be easy. Walk into a drug store or pharmacy, grab what you need, pay the cashier, and you’re on your way. But due to the alarming usage of meth in the state, a new Tennessee law will now put restrictions on your purchases.

"It lowers the monthly limit from 9 grams to 5.7 grams. There is also now a new annual limit of 28.8 grams per year," said Morgan Honeycutt, Pharmacist at Mac’s Drug Store.

This means Tennesseans can buy no more than 24 tablets a month or 120 tablets a year, unless they have a prescription.

"If a patient truly needs Sudafed and they need one tablet daily and they are going to reach that limit, as long as they are getting a prescription from a practicing pharmacist in the state of Tennessee we can fill that even if it is above the limit," Honeycutt said.

Those who really need the medication say the process will become a big inconvenience.

"For the people who don’t have insurance or the proper insurance, this is going to an inconvenience because you’re going to be limited. You’re going to be incapacitated. It’s going to ruin work days, you’re going to have to take a sick day off because of allergy season," said Lillquist.

While it may be seem inconvenient, East Tennessee pharmacists believe it was a law that needed to be passed.

"We need to watch those limits to make sure they are not accessing too much that could raise a red flag for the potential production of meth."