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Mucinex and Other Torture Methods November 19, 2008

Posted by rscottgriffin in Life In Detail.
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It is November, and the temperature has taken its first dives into the lower regions of the thermometer.  That means it’s time for cold and flu season.  I am the recent, lucky recipient of some sort of nasty head cold that has been going around our office for the past month.  Everyone knows it’s just “the stuff,” and it’s miserable.  However, since I had recently cleaned out my medicine cabinet of mostly-expired OTC medication, I decided to procure a sampling for my own experimental purposes.

Let me start by saying that anything with any kind of decongestant in it – usually any named medication with the subsequent letter “D” – cranks up my anxiety level more than three venti Starbucks coffees and generally makes me equally as jittery.  These are the wonders of psuedoephedrine and its replacements.  So, I tend to try and avoid those.  I did pick up some Publix brand Tylenol Cold daytime (just to get through the day in emergency situations), some Alka Seltzer Plus (which also has a little decongestant), and, because I’ve heard so much about it, some Mucinex.

For several days, out of both desperation and necessity, I used both the Publix brand daytime cold medication and Alka Seltzer Plus.  The Publix brand made me feel not only like I had drank these three venti Starbucks coffees, but when drinking them I was chasing Tylenol with Codeine.  Such a situation does not lend itself to clear thought.  The Alka Seltzer plus, although inducing some jumpiness, lead to much more clear-headedness.  So, for those of you that are sensitive to decongestants, I can recommend the Alka  Seltzer Plus as a viable, acceptable, and effective alternative.

That brings us to the Mucinex.  After my bleary-headed purchase, I realized that plain Mucinex is meant for chest congestion, and a separate Mucinex D is actually recommended for sinus and nasal congestion.  Knowing what that “D” means, and based on my testing described above, I decided that I did not need any extra decongestant.  However, as my cold progressed, things did make their way into my chest.  Therefore, I took my first shot at Mucinex yesterday afternoon.  Well, there did not seem to be too much of an effect at first.  You must give it a few hours, I guess, because late last night I began coughing so much that I thought my esophogas would rupture.  This morning I thought I would cough up a lung.  My eyes teared up, my chest heaved, my abdominals cramped up.  When they say expectorant, they mean it.  Seriously, if there is some counter-agent to the shit, I would consider giving it to prisoners and letting them dry cough themselves to near death until they beg for the antidote and/or confess.

I think it is truly an axiom that for the common cold that the medications we use to make ourselves better are worse than the actual cold.  Nothing will ever beat some warm chicken soup, comfort foods, the sofa, a warm blanket, some hot tea, and plenty of time for trashy tv.