Let me start out by saying that I’m not a doctor. I have no medical knowledge or training. What I do have is a heck of a cold. So I started taking some cold medicine. Over the course of several days it became apparent that the cold medicine wasn’t working. My cold was getting worse and I was starting to have a hard time breathing.
I did some research. The main ingredient in my cold medicine is phenylephrine. It’s a popular substitute for pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine was a very popular cold medicine, until it became even more popular as an ingredient for meth. Cold medication containing pseudoephedrine is still available, but in my state it requires a few extra steps. It can only be purchased from the pharmacist themselves, ID has to be shown and forms have to be signed. Because of all the hullabaloo to obtain pseudoephedrine a lot of cold medicines changed their formula to contain phenylephrine instead.
But here’s the thing. Phenylephrine doesn’t work.
Studies designed to test the effectiveness of phenylephrine on NAR (Nasal Airway Resistance) stated:
Based on 8 unpublished studies that included 138 patients, phenylephrine 10 mg did not affect NAR more than (a) placebo. ~ The Annals of Pharmacoltherapy
This information is confirmed by Consumer Reports and my own stuffy nose.
So here’s what I’m going to do. For the time-being I’ve switched to an effective antihistamine. I can actually breathe again.
My next step will be to go to the pharmacy, sign the forms, show my ID and get a box of “the good stuff”. I’ll have this on hand for the next time I get a cold.