Why Actavis Lean Has Been Discontinued


Actavis lean was taken off the table in 2014 for a variety of reasons. An Actavis representative spoke out about the company’s move to discontinue the popular Promethazine Codeine cough syrup that was known colloquially as “purple drank,” “sizzurp” or “lean.”

In a statement to TMZ, the rep had this to say about the recall: “Given [recent media attention], Actavis has made the bold and unprecedented decision to cease all production and sales of its Promethazine Codeine product,” adding that the attention has glamorized the “unlawful and dangerous use of the product.”

The media attention the representative alludes to in his statement was well-earned as Actavis lean had become incredibly prevalent thanks to hip hop titans and professional sports stars advocating recreational use of the drug.

Not only had rampant lean abuse become a very real problem with rapper Lil Wayne suffering a seizure as a result of misusing the drank but illegal sales of Actavis lean had also risen astronomically with drug dealers peddling the prescription medication to people on the street for as much as $800 per pint bottle.

What’s more, sources close to the market are even saying that wealthy rappers are offering obscene amounts of money to anyone willing to sell them whatever remains in the Actavis inventory. Back in 2014, TMZ reported that at least one hip hop personality offered his dealer as much as one hundred grand to get his hands on as much as he possibly could.

At the time, rapper Soulja Boy was posting pictures on Instagram of full Actavis bottles, bragging about how he had “the juice” even though everyone was saying the streets were “dry.”

Despite the company halting production of the drug, lean has continued to be a mainstay in the world of hip hop with terms like “purple Sprite” and “sizzurp” continuing to be part of the zeitgeist’s vernacular.

In 2016, Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz made it clear that Actavis lean is still around and that he drinks the brand exclusively. While being interviewed on a drink-related podcast, he said that there are several fake purple drank formulas making the rounds but that he only drinks the real deal.

Later, he extrapolated on when and why he takes lean, saying that he only drinks it when his workload calls for it. “It was the Beyonce tour, I had to perform for that. I had a video shoot with Lil Wayne yesterday, I know I gotta be geeked up to be around this ni**a.”

And 2 Chainz ain’t the only one getting’ geeked on the lean. Vice has called lean the “new Quaaludes” because, like that once-popular sedative, lean is a must-have hypnotic for many hella rich people who can afford to purchase it on the black market.

The syrup drug has penetrated pop culture to such a degree that people are scrambling to snatch up what remains of the Actavis haul, but others are experimenting with other combinations to achieve an effect similar to the sedative nature of sizzurp.


As 2 Chainz mentioned himself, there is red lean (typically prepared using Robitussin) and green lean (prepared with Hpnotiq ®, Hennesy ® cognac and DeKuyper ® Sour Apple Pucker schnapps). Others have created a green lean using Mountain Dew Baja Blast, Bombay Sapphire and NyQuil.

These are dangerous combinations that can put you on your ass and not in a good way. Hospitalizations are a serious consequence of concocting a lean cocktail which is part and parcel of the decision to discontinue Promethazine and Codeine syrup.

Luckily, in this age of nutraceuticals, there are natural alternatives to these heavy duty controlled substances and users can now enjoy the sizzurp’s effects without the negative drawbacks. So get your drank on and get geeked the good old-fashioned herbal way.

Be safe, be smart and be baller!

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