Phenylephrine: Say What?

It’s winter again and that means everyone has a cold. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating. But a lot of people are suffering from stuffy noses, coughs, sinus pressure, and the list goes on.

You head to the store looking for some medicine and you quickly find yourself looking at a wall full of options. Suppressants, decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines; what do they all do and which ones do you need?

Well, I’m no doctor so I’m not going to tell you what to get and what not to get, but I will tell you what I learned in looking into some of the drugs for congestion relief.

Pseudoephedrine

This stuff is for realz. I say that for three reasons: (1) people make meth from it, (2) they sell it behind the counter, and (3) it seems to be the only true nasal decongestant drug that works.

But I’m afraid to take it, BECAUSE THEY MAKE METH FROM IT!

I know people who swear by it, so again, I’m no doctor. I’m just a guy afraid to take pseudoephedrine.

The Substitute

Once I started looking closely at the drugs in the various cold meds I realized that they really are all the same. This is what I found in most cold/cough meds: acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, diphenhydramine, and phenylephrine.

Now acetaminophen is the primary ingredient and that’s the same as Tylenol. The only other ingredient I’m going to get into is phenylephrine, because I was buying this medicine for the nasal decongestant and phenylephrine is listed as the decongestant drug.

This is what Wikipedia says about phenylephrine: “Phenylephrine is marketed as an alternative for the decongestant pseudoephedrine, though clinical studies show phenylephrine to be no more effective than placebo.”

WHAT?!? A PLACEBO?!?

For those that don’t know… “placebo is a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.” This according to the dictionary.

No wonder my nose is still stuffy.

Enter, Neti Pot

I’ve used a Neti Pot for quite some time since I generally have sinus trouble. However, what I didn’t know is that you can use it up to every two hours throughout the day.

So after I took this placebo nasal decongestant for weeks since I’m too afraid to take pseudoephedrine, I finally turned to the good old Neti Pot. And it works pretty well. For me.

Once again, I’m not telling anyone what to do for their situation. I’m simply relaying some info. Do what you will. And I hope you find something that helps because sinus pressure is a real pain in the nose/face/head.

Wrigley Field Tarp Troubles

A brief but heavy downpour caused a rain delay during the game at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs. The rain was said to have lasted between ten and fifteen minutes.

I’m certain the players and fans all expected the game to continue in no time, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

The grounds crew put the tarp on crooked and left a large part of the infield exposed, thus causing swampy conditions that only some decent sunlight could correct. Sunlight was about the only tool the grounds crew didn’t have available considering it was a night game.

After a four hour and thirty-four minute delay the game was cancelled. However, according the the rulebook the game was complete and the Cubs were winners by a score of two to nothing.

This was great news for the home team, but for the playoff-contending Giants, losing this type of game was unacceptable. So, they protested the decision.

The Giants got their way and the game was eventually continued. The Cubs held on to their lead and ended up winning anyways.

Now if the Giants fail to make the playoffs by one game they can’t blame the Wrigley Field grounds crew.