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« Living the truth | Main | Second Chances, the Risky Business of Transformation »

March 22, 2007

If I Felt Better, I Would REALLY Be Angry

I'm in the middle of the mother of all colds. But I cannot not comment. In the spirit of Gina's excellent piece in CT and Martha's all-too-sensible for plea for clarification, I have a rant.

When you feel like a Columbian Mammoth is parked on your sinuses and your head is about to explode, what you need -- no, what you demand -- is pseudoephedrine, a.k.a. Sudafed. But, have you tried to buy some lately? You can't simply go down to the Giant and grab some from the "Cough and Cold" section. Noooooooo! You must take a chit, like the one Toys R Us uses for video games, to the pharmacist's counter. And for much the same reason: people who want the stuff are presumed to be potential criminals.

There, she will ask for ID and check your name against a registry of every American who has had a cold in the past few years. (That's what it amounts to since the vast majority of meth is made with pseudoephedrine from Mexico.) You will then have to sign a statement promising, on pain of penalty, not to get a cold again in the six months.

Okay, I made the last bit up but that's what feels like. To make it worse, pharmacies don't keep the same hours as the rest of the store. You must seek relief during working hours. 

Stated bluntly, because some losers cook the stuff up, smoke it and then spend their time taking apart every electronic and/or mechanical device within reach while their teeth rot and fall out, I, and every other God-fearing, tax-paying, law-abiding American, can't get relief and must sit around feeling miserable.

[Expletitive deleted] Of course, you can settle for Phenylephrine, which -- HELLO!!! -- doesn't work, at least not at the prescribed doses.

Pharmacists Leslie Hendeles and Randy Hatton of the University of Florida suggested in 2006 that oral phenylephrine is ineffective as a decongestant at the 10mg dose used, arguing that the studies used for the regulatory approval of the drug in the United States in 1976 were inadequate to prove effectiveness at the 10mg dose and safety at higher doses. Other pharmacists have expressed concerns over phenylephrine's effectiveness as a nasal decongestant and other clinicians have indicated concern for regulatory actions that reduce the availability of pseudoephedrine.

In other words, you get all of the side-effects -- elevated blood pressure, dry mouth, etc. -- but no relief. What genius came up with this? 

Which brings me back to Martha's question --- sort of. We won't drug-test teens -- for reasons that I understand and support -- but we will hide the Sudafed from people with head colds. We are prepared to put a dose of the HPV vaccine and the "morning after" pill in every Happy Meal but if mom or dad can't breathe well, it's a small price to pay to keep double-wide trailers from blowing up when Cletus goofs. [Expletitve deleted. Again.]

Of course, that's just my opinion but I'm not wrong.

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Roberto, it is because the politicians wish to give the -appearance- of being concerned and doing something, that you can't get sudafed.

Of course they hurt you and I, and not the meth-runners. But they get the soccer-mom vote, and that's the whole point.

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