Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Meth-ed Up Thinking

Curve balls get thrown often in life. Over a week ago, I told myself that I wanted to do a post about pseudoephedrine. You see, Nevada lawmakers have been considering making changes to how you can acquire products containing the decongestant placing it squarely in the hands of physicians. Currently, there are already Federal Laws that limit purchasing the items (daily sales not to exceed 3.6 grams without regard to the number of transactions or monthly sales not to exceed 9 grams in regulated products.) Many manufacturers have "reformulated" in an effort appease but the effectiveness of the substitutes can be questioned. Of course, this is all being done to cut down and fight methamphetamine use. I planned to talk to talk about how this hits the little-man in the pocketbook with an extra co-pay just to get something for influenza or a cold. I wanted to denounce the lobbying by those in the medical field had to have done to push that through. I can honestly say that every pharmacist that I've asked, "What works best?," told me that the items with the drug were better by far.

Then I got sick on Sunday. Tried to make it through work on Monday but left halfway through my shift. I went straight to Walgreens and picked up Advil Cold & Sinus which was recommended to me as well as some cough medicine and cough drops. I went home and slept. I spent all of Tuesday in bed. That night and the following day were tough as was sore, had the chills and couldn't sleep longer than 30 minutes at a time. At 6 a.m. this morning, I gave in and drove to the Quick Care near the house... they open at 8, so instead of being suspicious sleeping in my car in the parking lot, I went home. Killed off a can of soup, took a hot shower and got back in the covers. Finally pushed myself to go back at 3:30 p.m. It's bronchitis. The doctor said that it was pretty bad and gave me 4 prescriptions to fill... one was for Pseudovent (pseudoephedrine/guaifenesin.) I'll be better soon but I keep thinking that it sure would have saved me 48 hours and +$30 in "over-the-counter" medicine if I had just gone to see the doctor in the first place.

So, in my recent experience, I'd say that making pseudoephedrine-based products a prescribed medicine would have saved on lost productivity, restlessness and coughing. But, not everyone has insurance. Not everyone can pay an extra co-pay on top of the price of their medicine. I am all for monitoring the use of these drugs at pharmacies. The Advil that I purchased had 20 tablets in there. Individually, they have 30 milligrams of pseudophedrine (recommended dosage of 1 to a maximum of 2 tablets.) I'm not going to do the math for you (1 gram = 1,000 milligrams) but if you are using nearly 3.6 grams of it per day... you are probably a meth addict. I'd be more apt to believe a uniform box that contains enough for a two week supply (as it's probably more serious if it lasts longer than that) is a great idea if one is allowed to purchase a box per month. Then again, maybe if they had a little machine (like the one that checks blood pressure) that will hear the rumble in your lungs, it would steer me away from purchasing the box and seeing a doctor.


Anonymous said...

I had dinner with a beautiful young woman last night - she just happens to be a recovering meth addict. I would support anything that made it more difficult to make that stuff.

Anonymous said...

PS Hope you feel better soon Marten!

LoraLoo said...

Nevada is one of the worst meth epidemic states in the union. Rural NV is rampant with the problem. While I agree the sale of this stuff in larger quantities is questionable, I get a little touchy about the government thinking for us. So I definitely don't know the right answer.

Have you ever taken Airborne? Especially in your line of work, I'd consider it. I swear by it with respiratory illnesses. I'm so sorry you have bronchitis!! The last time I had bronchitis and I was taking those over the counter medications to dry me up, my doctor read me the riot act. He feels they make things worse. Take the mucinex products and something for your headache. Otherwise let your body go through the motions to get rid of your illness. So far, in my case, he's been right. I don't get as sick.

I hope you feel better soon, take care!

Ken said...

I swear by Airborne as well. I use it when I travel, and I think it helps me get over colds faster. However, they recently did a study where all it really does is give you an extra dose of Vitamin C. I think the bigger help there is that when you take Airborne every three hours, you are drinking a lot of fluids and that helps flush your system pretty quickly.

While putting Sudafed behind the counter is a slight deterrent, it's not a prescription drug. That being said, I'm all for prescription-strength meds. They tend to knock things out faster, as a general rule.

BeckEye said...

It's probably bad, but I just take Tylenol PM or Nyquil when I'm sick so I can sleep for 14 hours.

Sorry to hear you have bronchitis! I had that once and it was awful. Get well soon.

RT said...

I hope you're feeling better Martin!

Aside from that, considering the Libertarian (and the naturalist) that I am, I am so biting my tongue on this one...

And man oh man, it hurts!