Last week, I caught an upper respiratory infection, and thankfully, the worst of it was over the weekend, but I still had lingering symptoms for a few days while at work. It was for this reason that I initiated the Better Living Through Chemistry campaign of Winter 2006/2007. Normally, I don't like taking medications, and I will avoid them until it is entirely unavoidable. But I can't justify sneezing and dripping all over patients.
I started with ibuprofen 400mg bid while at work. On top of this, I used triproline/pseudoephedrine 2.5/60mg [trade name Actifed] for the first few days q6 hours while at work, giving myself a break while at home. However, my supply of Actifed ran out, and going to the store, I discovered that all the pseudoephedrine is now kept behind the counter. So, I switched to chlorpheniramine/phenylephrine 4/10mg again q6 hours while at work.
it took about 9 days for symptoms to resolve completely, and I feel fine now, but it's always interesting to go to the OTC aisle. I saw several people wandering the decongestants, looking at one, then pondering another. For all of you reading this, they're all the same! Choosing a decongestant has more to do with your own body's reaction to a specific chemical than anything the drug company can tote.
I was however alarmed to find out that phenylephrine is in my OTC med, the vasopressor that I run into people as a last resort, mainly because it is such a potent peripheral vasoconstrictor that I have induced limb ischemia.