WTF’s up with Psuedoephedrine?

I’ve been sick over the past 5 days with a wicked cold that’s made it hard for me to even drive to the pharmacy to get meds.  It’s so weird how run down and tired you get just walking from the car to the pharmacy (which by the way is waaaaaay in the back of store, which you really can’t appreciate how lousy the placement of the pharmacy is until you’re sick and you have to go all the way to the back on your lonesome)  Thank God for spouses.

So while I was perusing the aisles at Ralphs, I noticed that not a damned thing contains psuedoephedrine.  Y’know, the stuff that dries up your sinuses so that you can breathe?  It’s a nasal decongestant that is (or should I say, WAS) found in Sudafed, Actifed, and other over the counter medications.

But not more.  There’s absolutely nothing out there now on the shelves that uses it.  I didn’t think this would be that big a deal until I bought $14 worth of the "new generation" of sinus & ‘runny nose’ meds which contact a pseudophedrine replacement in them called "phenylephrine" only to discover that they DON’T WORK FOR @#$%

No – I’m serious.  I did the f-ing Pepsi challenge on this phenylephrine crap relative to my last package of old generation Actifed which had psuedoephedrine in it.  The results? 

  • Time until clear sinuses with Phenylephrine (Actifed/SudafedPE):  NEVER
  • Time until clear sinuses with Psuedophedrine (Actifed/SudafedPE):  7min-10min.

After tearing up the "Internets" (as Kevin Pereira would call them) I discovered the reason:  Apparently, folks that make crystal meth buy and use large quantities of cold medication to produce… well… crystal meth. 

And because it’s a ghetto, low cost, drug (it’s apparently like the "moonshine" of drugs:  It’s available in large quantities and thus everyone can get it if they know the right people however only folks that frankly can’t afford better make it/use it) they’ve imposed a  statewide ban on psuedoephedrine much to the dismay of those of use with cold viruses – like me.

I WANT MY PSUEDOEPHEDRINE!
It turns out that you CAN get psuedophedrine.

If you’re like me, you never default to asking for help from store employees on topics that actually require thought.  You’d instead prefer to work with an ATM or a computer or something that frankly doesn’t require the frustration of human contact.  My tolerance for ineptitude is exceptionally low when I’m ill.  Unfortunately, this tactics loses in the end because if you apply it at the pharmacy, you’d never know where the psuedophedrine went to. 

It turns out it’s behind the counter at the pharmacy.  You can get it with out a prescription however you have to provide an ID, and a credit card… and you have to sign a log book before you can get your meds.  There is also a max on how much you can buy:  2 packages per person per day or a max of 3.6 grams per day.  My wife smartly bought the Sudefed 12 hour which is a quadruple dose (120mg) of psuedophedrine per capsule.  The regular crap is 30mg/capsule.

There was an article in the Washington Post about this:
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thecheckout/2006/09/putting_the_fed_in_sudafed.html

I guess, I’m not that pissed.  I just wish this was better advertised.  I mean, I went to two different stores and I never saw a damned thing about this change in active ingredients.  Normally, I’m not one to complain, but that’s probably because, normally I take my meds, I get well, no problem.

This unfortunately doesn’t work if the meds are ineffective.  I’d even gone so far as to double dose on that phenylephrine crap and it still didn’t work.  Who the hell buys this new crap anyway?

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