Yes, it’s cold and flu season again so I want to stock up my medicine cabinet with some vital over-the-counter products just in case one of us gets sick. The question is…what works best? When I was a kid, we had Bayer aspirin and cough drops. The only cough medicine I remember taking was a prescription that the doctor gave me. And maybe, Vicks vapor rub for the chest. Now, when I look for medicines I am so confused by all the choices I waste at least a half hour or more picking up bottles and reading them, before settling on something.
Aspirin has been replaced by acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) and maybe other pills I am not aware of. Not only are there more drugs, but within each drug there are several varieties too. Do you want the 4 hour rapid release pills, the 12 hour pills, the time released pills, the ones with cold remedies built in? Do you want tablets, caplets, gel caps, capsules? I don’t know, I am so damned confused. Finally, I settle on a bottle of rapid release because I have no patience and if it works faster, why the hell should I suffer?
Move over to the cough medicines! Ugh! There is the Robitussin section with a nice assortment of bottles. There is Nighttime Cough and Cold, but what if I am sick during the day? There is also the long-lasting cough suppressant, who would want a short lasting cough suppressant? There is Robitussin DM and DM Max which is a suppressant and an expectorant, two cough medicines for the price of one! There is Robitussin CF and CF Max which controls the cough and clears your stuffy nose. And those are only the ones for Adults, there is also a line for children. If you hate the taste of cough medicine, as my kids do, they now come in gel cap form. I’m too confused to make a decision, but finally grab the CF Max, because it’s been my experience that colds and coughs come with stuffy noses and I want the MAXimum relief I can get! Why settle for less when the price is the same? By the way, some info about Robitussin…it seems to assist women in getting pregnant, some of you might want to consider that, if you plan to take it. Also, it is being abuse by teenagers who get high on it, “robo tripping.” You have to do your homework on these over the counter products, because that information is not on the label.
I am not even going to go into allergy medications, I’ll save that for the spring. Right now, I just want to get through this winter with as little sneezing and coughing as possible. I made sure we all got our flu shots early, I hope you all do too. It’s well worth the protection you get from it, but more important, it will save you a trip to the pharmacy to pick out the medicines you would need to ease your discomfort.
Have a healthy, happy winter!