You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Those damn crystal meth addicts.

This head cold/sinus congestion is the worst I’ve had since I was in Paris last fall. As with that time, I have be using the Sudafed tablets I had inherited from Matt after our break up. This time around, I went to CVS and bought a bunch of other sinus congestion remedies. Every box in the entire aisle of cold medicines said “Does Not Contain Pseudophedrine”.

As many of you know, that is the ingredient used in the creation of crystal meth.  So, Sudafed (and all of the similar brands) have removed said ingredient and replaced it with Phenylephrine.

Yesterday, I was running out of the old Sudafed tablets and headed to CVS to get some new ones. The pain in my upper cheeks and especially behind my eyes has been simply unbearable. My last two major colds have been this way and I started wondering whether harsher illnesses are something that comes with age.

But while browsing the shelves at CVS I was getting overwhelmed by all of the options. The generics versus name brands all looking nearly identical. Then I noticed, one box halfway back on the shelf that appeared different. It was with the CVS (generic) brand of Sudafed and where all of the other boxes had “Does Not Contain Pseudophedrine” in a red band across the front, this one had a black band that said “Maximum Strength”.

HMMM – curious.

Then I examined the box more carefully and it listed Pseudophedrine as the main ingredient! Apparently, this was the one last box that hadn’t been bought (or returned to the distributor). Realizing that all of my previous medicinal remedies (containing Phenylephrine) had failed, I bought this box of 96 pills hoping there might be a difference.

And within 3 hours the unbearable pain started to disappear! Just like that!

Now I’m going to treasure this box of CVS brand Sudafed for the rest of my life. And I’m going to harbor even more anger and hostility towards the asshole meth addicts who have caused the pharmaceutical companies to alter their more effective formulas.



  1. Comment by Fred on May 18, 2006 10:23 am

    Hmmm….as someone who gets (and in fact has, but not so badly as you do) these nasty sinusy-things, also, I depend on 12 and 24-hour brand-name Sudafed, both of which, last I checked, still contained the maximum allowable nonprescription amounts of pseudephedrine, BUT, like the expensive Gilette razor blades, because of creepy methcookers and thieves, one walks into any CVS or, in my case, the nearby Walgreens (which sucks even worse, but there ’tis), and finds NOT nice little available boxes, but little hanging cards which say one has to go and get the stuff from the pharmacist (presumably so they can give one a look-over and also so they can dole out relatively small amounts…). Last time, I felt sure they were going to decide I was some crystal freak, as my bathroom sink was also badly clogged, so I was buying a huge thing of Drano, which is reputed also to be an ‘ingredient’ of the vile stew which produces that bitch ‘Tina’… But, they sold me the Sudafed 24-hour – blissful stuff! If, since that time p’raps three months ago, the rat-bastards have ENDED production of pseudephedrine because a bunch of hopped-up jerks have abused it, I’m going to be royally pissed-off… It’s akin to the old Testor’s modelmaking cement, which was the only thing for gluing many plastics – off the market for some years (near as I can tell) all because idiot kids were sniffing/huffing it… I’m sorry, but this is where my Libertarianism comes in – legalize it ALL (including the narcotics, etc. – tax ’em to the skies…), and people’s own proclivities will sort things out…harumph!!! (grin).

    Hope your supply holds and lasting relief is on its way!

  2. Comment by Brad on May 18, 2006 10:53 am

    . . . and I still say that you should do more preventative medicine! Try Air Shield! That way you’ll (perhaps) prevent these things from happening before they get to this level. I just discovered Air Shield (or the CVS knock off with is Air Borne) this past January and, not only did it knock out a ligering sinus cold, but since then I’ve not had any illnuses at all (my first winter in a long time to have that happen). Not only that, I have now recommended it to about 7-8 friends who are now also recommending it to their friends. But, of course, if you enjoy getting sick and taking Sudafed, then who am I to offer advice. 🙂

  3. Comment by chrispy on May 18, 2006 11:40 am

    crystal aside, this obviously isnt just a cold. are you sure its not maximum strength allergies and that you ought to be taking some medication thats more appropriate? — when you go to france, you should stock up on paracetamol, its so much better than tylenol (which, i was told is illegal in france for some of the ingredients).

  4. Comment by JC on May 18, 2006 11:56 am

    Skip all the Sudafed crap. Pick up some Afrin–it works faster than Sudafed and you don’t have to worry about it being unavailable because of a bunch of crystal queens.

  5. Comment by snarl on May 18, 2006 11:59 am

    Thanks for your suggestions!

    Fred – this CVS didn’t have those cards (I’ve seen it at others). I wonder if this one just stopped selling the other types?

    Chris – definitely not allergies. This all started in sunny weather then lingered throughout the flooding 8 days of rain (where there was no pollen…just mold) and now that it’s sunny again and the pollen is back, I’m feeling better. Plus, I was so achey/feverish for three days in the middle that people with allergies keep telling me those symptoms aren’t allergy-related.

    JC – I did use Afrin at the beginning. That TOTALLY cleared out my nasal passage so I could breathe…but it only can be used for three days. Plus, although I could breathe, it didn’t get rid of the pressure behind my eyes.

  6. Comment by karyn on May 18, 2006 2:25 pm

    I agree. Let the crystal meth crowd suck Drano. It pisses me off and I completely agree with you. Tip: To the best of my knowledge, DayQuil & CVS brand Dayquil still include pseudoephedrine. 🙂 Sometimes those combination cold meds are a good idea! Check ’em out!

    Similar shit with Seldane. That rocked the whole sinus-suffering world. But oooo, people MIGHT have heart attacks on it. Oh dear. Not THAT. You know what? A lot can be done to help heart attacks but there is sweet fuckall in the way of relief for sinus sufferers. At least that is my experience. And Redux / Phen phen. Oh NO! I might have a heart attack? Well isn’t that what will happen if I don’t drop some weight? So what difference? I’ll sign a waiver. That shit was beautiful. 25 lbs in a couple months, gone, no hunger.

    So to recap: We can buy crystal meth, crack or heroin anywhere – but not for love or money can we get Sudafed, Seldane or Fen Fen. Anybody else think this is skewed?

  7. Comment by Lise on May 18, 2006 3:33 pm

    You could pray to our good lord, just like our fearless leader does. Oh wait, you’re a god-less homosexual. Too bad – this is just a preview of the hell that awaits you.

  8. Comment by Kelly G on May 20, 2006 6:08 pm

    just ran into this blog poking around to see who was hosted on Harvard and…here I am.
    Well fercryin in a bucket. what I don’t get is why on earth can’t anyone note when somone tries to buy 10+ boxes of the stuff == since from what I understand the process requires quite a lot of it? it is just another idiotic action in the “war on drugs” that fails to hit the producers and sellers of illegal drugs and casuse trouble for innocents.
    BTW, I have sinus trouble from starting w/allergies generating warm goo that bugs love to dive on. so that is another angle. Also, I use rx sprays that desentize my nasal — they work even for colds — not just allergies. I use nasonex, but others might work as well. They don’t get you into that nasty bounce back you get if you use the OTC sprays too long.

  9. Comment by Brad on July 27, 2006 10:28 pm

    I have a great amount of problems with nasal/ear stuffiness and pain in the sinuses as well, My favorite product is a combination of ibuprofen,sudephedrine, and loratadyne. Unfortunately, in Michigan, it is almost impossible to get because you have to take a hanging card and at someplaces, *walmart*, you have to give your driver’s license and phone number to get the stuff. Holy crap, if I were a druggie I would steal the stuff with a gun or break in and take it , but it really angers me that a law abiding citizen cannot get the otc meds he/she needs in small amounts without a freaking id. It’s not like I’m buying a damn gun or anything. the druggies are going to find a way to get it anyway, why in hell should people who need it have to suffer or go to a doctor for a prescription and pay 50-60 dollars for and office call just to get some appropriate relief?

  10. Comment by Barbara on January 1, 2007 11:59 pm

    I totally understand everyones feelings about this subject. It is a real pain to have to get your Id out wait for them to write down the info and look back in their records to see when the last time you purchased your medication. First of all if i felt good enough to stand around and wait I probably wouldnt be there in the first place and what does writing down your address and ID number help anyways I am sure everyone has some friends that will go buy it for them. A few stupid people have really made it hard for all us innocent people.

  11. Comment by Kathleen on December 19, 2007 4:59 am

    Not much has been said in a while here I see, but I gotta vent somewhere. It’s 4am in the morning in NY, and I’m up suffering from horrible cruel sinus pressure. I DON’T have a damn runny or stuffy nose. (pharmacists and doctors have tried to placate me with things for a stuffy nose too many times – they don’t get it.) I don’t have a cold. My junk just swells up now and again and it’s unbearable. My eyes feel like they’re going to pop out of my head and I can’t even think straight. Sounds like you get what I do, Snarl.

    I have 4 pills left and I got nervous. Nervous about running out of an OTC drug that is the only thing that works for something that incapacitates me..

    I went through all the hassle I read from the posts above. In the good old days cheap generic yellow sinus/allergy pesudo pills used to be all over the place. I’d get 2 packs of them at a time sometimes. I can fondly remember having them stuck haphazardly in my drawers, makeup bags – extras in the car so I didn’t get debilitated while traveling, etc. If I had only known what was going to go down, I’d have stockpiled the stuff. I’ve since searched every nook of my house in times of desperation and taken them all except one pair I found in a junk box in the kitchen tonight. It was pathetic how happy I was to find them. I feel better already.

    Now, we all have to stand on a Calcutta bread line situation to get some relief. It seems to me that the stuff I can get still doesn’t work as effectively as what I had either.

    One big bitch I haven’t seen enough complaining about is the GOUGING. I think the drug companies have used this meth lab crap as an excuse to hike the prices, and it’s got me pissed. Another example of the market creating a scarcity and demand to to screw the masses and profit.

    I used to pull a box of 48 pills for about $4-5 off the shelf and go. Now, recently during an attack, I’ve been to Rite-Aid, and was forced stand on line sick as hell just to buy a box of Drixoral with 24 pills in it for $11. Half the stuff for twice the price. They didn’t have regular Sudafed generics, because, mysteriously where I am, all the generics have disappeared and been replaced by only top brand names. At that point I would have handed them one of my kidneys if they asked to stop the pain. And they know it.

    So not only am I being harassed, logged in like some pill freak into a database, and waiting for some pubescent ‘manager’ to eye me up and see of I look like a crank zombie – but I’m getting ripped off to boot. This whole thing is less about the war on drugs than Big Pharmy’s greed. The government’s made it abundantly clear that they don’t give much of a shit about the people, so the motivation to remove cold meds isn’t intended for our well-being. It’s intended to line the pockets of the makers of big drugs who have their own ring in this circus, as well as for Big Brother to keep a finger on yet something else that used to be a freedom.

    Now I think I can sleep. Good luck to all of you.
    -Suffering in Sinus

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.