New homeopathic laxative has some concerned for teens

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information and a Storify tracking discussion on the topic.

A new homeopathic laxative released by CVS has created quite a bit of controversy. Now some are worried that kids may be using this medication but not to improve their health.

CVS, one of the nation’s largest drug store chains, has introduced a new homeopathic laxative available in stores.

But there’s a catch.

The laxative contains 20 percent ethanol, which is equivalent to 40-proof alcohol.

When first released last month, the laxative was available for anyone to purchase leaving some concerned kids might target the medicine just for the alcohol. But Shane Watson, a prevention specialist with NotMyKid, believes that the problem is not the product but parenting.

“Parents are waiting for somebody outside of their family to, per se, ‘police’ their kids for them,” Watson said. “It’s not going to happen.”

Now CVS has since changed policy.

Mike DeAngelis, Senior Director, Corporate Communications, released this statement on behalf of CVS Health:
“As a matter of precaution we instructed our stores to decline any purchase of this product that appears to be suspicious, including the purchase of more than one bottle by an individual who appears under the age of 21.”

The statement went on to say that homeopathic products are regulated by the FDA and should only be used as directed.

President of the Arizona Board of homeopathic and integrative medicine, Bruce Shelton, says parents need to remember alcohol is just another part of medicine.

“There are at least 30 medicines, including cough medicines in all the drug stores which are considered over the counter that have alcohol in them,” Shelton said.

As of right now the drug is not available for purchase online. CVS did not comment on whether there was to be more regulation in the future.