Sudafed Non-drying Sinus

I’m still seeing a lot of questions about ear fullness on Meniere’s Reddit.

I have a specific treatment regimen for ear fullness because I was certain that my symptoms were caused by allergies back in the 1980’s when this all started for me. I tried and then discarded every single allergy treatment commonly on the market between the years of 1984 and 2003, and the only real symptom that I had to judge effectiveness against in those years was ear fullness and sinus pressure. At some point after we moved to Austin the Wife and I settled on the medication that we decided worked best, and that was Sudafed Non-drying Sinus.

Continue reading “Sudafed Non-drying Sinus”

Doctors DO NOT recommend Sudafed PE

The OTC version of Sudafed is useless, do not believe the ads to the contrary. DO NOT BUY THIS DRUG. Go to the pharmacist and ask for the real Sudafed. Write McNeil and demand they engage in activism to fix US drug policy.

I just saw an advertisement on MSNBC for Sudafed PE. Frankly, it was a mistake for Sudafed to offer a version of their medication with Phenylephrine in the first place, because PE clinically has no demonstrable positive effects. However, the ad was completely false, in that it linked Dr. recommendations for Pseudoephedrine the active ingredient in original Sudafed, with the OTC version of Sudafed PE which is not doctor recommended. If this isn’t a violation of FCC and FDA rules, it ought to be. McNEIL would be better served by promoting thier products on capitol hill, getting the rules against Pseudoephedrine and other drugs relaxed in ways that make it easier to treat medical problems, engage in harmless mind altering recreation, etc. So that the desire to misuse medication like Sudafed is diverted into legal recreational drugs. Do us all a favor, discontinue the PE and the ads to promote the drug that doesn’t work, and channel that money into helping to fix broken US drug policy.

A note sent to the Sudafed website

Suspect Sniffles

On the subject of pseudoephedrine interdiction, Google alerts dropped this in my inbox:

Other View: Law doesn’t stop meth

At least one government effort to curb methamphetamine production seems to have been a bust.

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 … makes it more difficult to purchase common, non-prescription cold medication containing pseudoephedrine.

Pseudoephedrine is the main ingredient used in the manufacture of meth. So, instead of simply purchasing drugs like Sudafed over the counter as in the past, everyone must now get them from behind the counter, usually from a pharmacist.

… It turns out, however, that it probably was all for nothing. A study published in the March issue of the American Economic Review found that restricting pseudoephedrine had only a temporary effect on the meth trade.

Yet, the government continues to track cold and allergy sufferers as if everyone with the sniffles is a potential criminal, while meth manufacturers go about their business as usual.

The Decatur Daily, Ala.

from the Traverse City Record-Eagle website

It’s listed as an opinion piece, but it’s based on an evidence based indictment of the entire drug war. If you want to pay $7.50 you can download the study from The American Economic Review website. Here’s the abstract:

In mid-1995, a government effort to reduce the supply of methamphetamine precursors successfully disrupted the methamphetamine market and interrupted a trajectory of increasing usage. The price of methamphetamine tripled and purity declined from 90 percent to 20 percent. Simultaneously, amphetaminerelated hospital and treatment admissions dropped 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Methamphetamine use among arrestees declined 55 percent. Although felony methamphetamine arrests fell 50 percent, there is no evidence of substantial reductions in property or violent crime. The impact was largely temporary. The price returned to its original level within four months; purity, hospital admissions, treatment admissions, and arrests approached preintervention levels within eighteen months.

(emphasis added) So, like all attempts to curb demand by targeting supply, this effort has simply lead to alternative methods of getting meth to the people who want it. How long are we going to throw away billions (perhaps even trillions) of dollars trying to keep people from pursuing what they see as ‘happiness’?

Protectionism and My Stuffy Nose

So, here’s the latest story in a long running discussion about being able to buy my over-the-counter medications over-the-counter again, rather than be forced to register like some deviant because I have allergies. I like the way this author thinks:

So let me go out on a limb here and say what any reasonable person would strongly suspect. The reason you can’t get Mucinex and Sudafed that work without jumping through hoops isn’t really about stopping basement meth users. It is really about the racket going on in Washington in which the law is used to benefit influential producers in cahoots with the political class at the expense of less influential producers and the American people, who should have the freedom to choose.

mises.org

The phrase follow the money has proven itself to me time and time again. The German company that makes phenylephrine lobbied hard to get the anti-meth act passed. Imagine that.

Reminds me of the accusations leveled at Dupont and Hearst during the days when Marijuana was demonized:

Interested parties note the aim of the Act was to reduce the hemp industry through excessive taxation[7][8][9] largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew MellonRandolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family.[7][9] The same parties argue with the invention of the decorticator, hemp was an economical replacement for paper pulp in the newspaper industry.[7][10] Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst realized cheap, sustainable, and easily-grown hemp threatened his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in the US, invested heavily in the Du Pont family’s new synthetic fiber, nylon, to compete with hemp.[7] 1916, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientists Jason L. Merrill and Lyster H. Dewey created a paper, USDA Bulletin No. 404 “Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material”, in which they concluded this paper from the woody inner portion of the hemp stem broken into pieces, the ‘hemp hurds’, was “favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood”.[11] Dewey and Merrill believed hemp hurds were a sustainable source for paper production. The concentration of cellulose in hemp hurds is generally around 35%.[12] Manufacture of paper — on equipment designed to use wood-pulp — with hemp as a raw material shows hemp lacks the qualities needed to become a major competitor to the traditional paper industry. 2003, 95% of the hemp hurds in the EU were used for animal bedding, almost 5% were used as building material.[13] Spokespersons from DuPont and many fiber manufacturers dispute a link between their promotion of nylon over hemp. They explain that the purpose of developing nylon was to produce a fiber competitive with silk and rayon.[14][15][16]

The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed the taxation because the tax was imposed on physicians prescribing cannabis, retail pharmacists selling cannabis, and medical cannabis cultivation/manufacturing. The AMA proposed cannabis instead be added to the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act.[17] The taxation ‘law’ was passed despite objections of the American Medical Association. Dr. William Creighton Woodward, legislative counsel for the AMA, objected to the taxation on the grounds the bill was written by Du Pont lawyers without the legally-binding time to prepare their opposition to the bill.[18] He doubted their claims about marijuana addiction, violence, and overdosage; he further asserted because the word Spanish word Marijuana was largely unknown at the time, the medical profession did not realize they were losing cannabis. “Marijuana is not the correct term … Yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily on the doctors and pharmacists of this country.”[18]

After hearings with lawyers from Du Pont Chemicals and the Hearst Newspapers Group, the taxation was passed on the grounds of ‘differing’ reports[19] and hearings.[20] Anslinger also referred to the International Opium Convention from 1928 included cannabis as a drug not a medicine. All state legislators approved identical ‘laws’ against improper use of cannabis (for ex. the Uniform State Narcotic Act). By 1951, however, spokespeople from Du Pont, Hearst and others came up with new improved rationalizations, and the Boggs Act superseded the Marihuana Taxation Act of 1937.[citation needed] In August 1954, the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was enacted, and the Marihuana Taxation Act was included in Subchapter A of Chapter 39 of the 1954 Code.

Wikipedia

Following the money certainly does shed some interesting light on politics. Weren’t we passing these laws to protect the children?

DownsizeDC – 20 Minutes, 422 Pages

The latest post on the subject of the Read the Bills Act concerns the passage of this bill:

…the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 introduced on Wednesday, September 19: “Final bill text released twenty minutes before floor consideration.” That’s bad. What makes it worse is, this bill is 422 pages long. Is it just me, or does 20 minutes seem like not quite enough time to read 422 pages? – Downsize DC Blog, 20 Minutes, 422 Pages

The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (H.R.3580) contains, amongst it’s other unread passages, a provision to create a new reporting agency within the FDA, which allows them the ability to remove a product from public access based on a single reported instance of harm; even if the harmed person doesn’t report the harm his or herself.

Considering that the FDA has been wanting to restrict access to supplements for a few years now (purportedly at the request of the AMA) this looks like granting the FDA the ability to do this one supplement at a time; essentially a back door approach to do the same thing that public feed back has stymied up to this point. Considering the hassles that we now have to go through to get former OTC medicines like Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine, as well as the cluster fuck that was last year’s spinach debacle. Never mind that simply irradiating the food would have removed any possible chance of infection. Don’t even get me started on the pseudo-science behind the banning of that process in the US. This does not bode well for future access to all kinds of products that the FDA will find objectionable under the new reporting rules.

Postscript

I have eaten a Big Bowl of Crow since publishing this and other thoughts on many subjects. Read the crow article before coming to any conclusions here.

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.”

Alexander Hamilton and James Madison (Federalist No. 62, 1788)

That is probably the quote that got me to post this dispatch to the blog. I find it interesting that the full context of the quote bears an ominous warning for the every day inconsistency that we’ve seen since the Orange Hate-Monkey took office at the beginning of last year. here is the quote in context,

Fourthly. The mutability in the public councils arising from a rapid succession of new Fourthly. The mutability in the public councils arising from a rapid succession of new members, however qualified they may be, points out, in the strongest manner, the necessity of some stable institution in the government. Every new election in the States is found to change one half of the representatives. From this change of men must proceed a change of opinions; and from a change of opinions, a change of measures. But a continual change even of good measures is inconsistent with every rule of prudence and every prospect of success. The remark is verified in private life, and becomes more just, as well as more important, in national transactions.
To trace the mischievous effects of a mutable government would fill a volume. I will hint a few only, each of which will be perceived to be a source of innumerable others.

In the first place, it forfeits the respect and confidence of other nations, and all the advantages connected with national character. An individual who is observed to be inconstant to his plans, or perhaps to carry on his affairs without any plan at all, is marked at once, by all prudent people, as a speedy victim to his own unsteadiness and folly. His more friendly neighbors may pity him, but all will decline to connect their fortunes with his; and not a few will seize the opportunity of making their fortunes out of his. One nation is to another what one individual is to another; with this melancholy distinction perhaps, that the former, with fewer of the benevolent emotions than the latter, are under fewer restraints also from taking undue advantage from the indiscretions of each other. Every nation, consequently, whose affairs betray a want of wisdom and stability, may calculate on every loss which can be sustained from the more systematic policy of their wiser neighbors. But the best instruction on this subject is unhappily conveyed to America by the example of her own situation. She finds that she is held in no respect by her friends; that she is the derision of her enemies; and that she is a prey to every nation which has an interest in speculating on her fluctuating councils and embarrassed affairs.

The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the FEW, not for the MANY.

In another point of view, great injury results from an unstable government. The want of confidence in the public councils damps every useful undertaking, the success and profit of which may depend on a continuance of existing arrangements. What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? What farmer or manufacturer will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation or establishment, when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government? In a word, no great improvement or laudable enterprise can go forward which requires the auspices of a steady system of national policy.

But the most deplorable effect of all is that diminution of attachment and reverence which steals into the hearts of the people, towards a political system which betrays so many marks of infirmity, and disappoints so many of their flattering hopes. No government, any more than an individual, will long be respected without being truly respectable; nor be truly respectable, without possessing a certain portion of order and stability.

Alexander Hamilton and James Madison are describing the US government as it currently exists under the Orange Hate-Monkey. What prudent person would hazard their wealth under the rule of this capricious man? When any act of independence is seen as an act of betrayal? This passage speaks volumes about Caudito Trump and his administration, none of it good.

But that wasn’t the subject of the article in question. The subject was The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (H.R.3580) and what is now obvious to me, a lack of understanding how meticulous the reconciliation process between the two houses of congress is. This misunderstanding on the part of the average libertarian like yours truly once was, is and was reconciled with increased knowledge. The editors of the Downsize DC blog though? Either they don’t understand the process, or they knowingly lead their readers and supporters astray by relying on Republican sources of information without actually checking the validity of the information.

I’m sanguine with the FDA itself these days. If anything, they are too forgiving of the supplement industry and far, far too willing to let Americans harm themselves with quack cures and snake oil. A good portion of the population are now either actively participating in MLM schemes to sell each other fake cures, or are the victims of the same. Sometimes both at the same time. In the end we have to rely on rigorous testing and science to be able to tell if a product is safe and works as promised and that means we have to accept that science tells us true things about the world around us. This is something that about 50% of the population doesn’t agree is true and that is the scariest thing of all.

The Drug Lords say ‘Thanks’

Quoting a story published today:

The number of meth-lab busts plummeted more than 30 percent last year as most states put in place laws to restrict the sale of over-the-counter cold medicines used to make meth, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center.

Yep, denying the average allergy sufferer easy access to the medications they need is all the rage these days, we’ve got to curb access to the ‘devil’s drug‘, don’t you know. Or is it really that much of a problem?

How about the figures from “The Sentencing Project” (referenced in the same article) that point out:

less than 1 percent of the nation’s population uses meth; meth abuse remains a “highly localized” problem

Of course, that doesn’t stop the majority of counties from reporting that meth abuse is a problem. Better to get on the gravy train early, wouldn’t want to miss out.

Contrary to popular belief though, meth is not a ‘new drug’. It’s just another one of the drugs made popular in the 60’s that has managed to hang on longer than LSD and a few of the others, mostly because it’s less damaging to the person who takes the drug. The only thing new about it is that small time labs started springing up, competing with the large meth labs that historically supplied the drug. Meth labs that still exist, by the way:

Local law-enforcement officials say there is still a strong appetite for the highly addictive drug and warned that meth makers in Mexico and other countries are moving to fill the supply void.

I just love euphemisms like “highly addictive”. Nicotine is highly addictive. Alcohol is highly addictive. Caffeine is highly addictive, and it’s in 9/10’s of the soft drinks that children love (and most parents complain about ‘hyperactivity’. The kid’s hopped up on sugar and caffeine. I’m just amazed he doesn’t actually fly, myself) Meth isn’t the problem; police agencies drunk on anti-narcotics funding is.

The only benefactor of the recent crack down on Psuedoephedrine containing medications is the large drug manufacturers across the border, and the police agencies tasked with interdicting them. The police openly say ‘thank you’ for your faith in them.

I’m sure the drug lords say likewise.

Meth – The New Devil’s Drug

(One from the archive, but this issue is still being fought out in various legislatures)

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. The GOP has a problem with the proposed new rules on curbing accessibility to Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine (as if you can even find Ephedrine anywhere to start with) Not that proposed new rules on cold medications go too far:

“The scourge of methamphetamine demands unconventional thinking and innovative solutions to fight the devastation it leaves behind,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said in announcing the administration’s new meth proposals.

But the proposals would not be tough enough to stop people from “cooking” meth, lawmakers say.

The Bush plan also would not require that cold medicines be sold from behind pharmacy counters, a key part of congressional legislation proposed by Sen. Jim Talent, a Republican from Missouri, and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.

usatoday.com

No, the Meth plague has to be fought even more stringently than the Bush administration is proposing (Question: if it’s a plague, where is the massive increase in victims? Where are the facts and figures to back up this fear-mongering assertion?) Never mind that some people might need to have access to cold and flu medications. Never mind that some of us don’t care to be listed in their database as known purchasers of pseudoephedrine containing medications. Nope. We have to start a witch hunt so that we can ride that fear into another re-election campaign.

BTW, the only attempt at factual reporting is the link at the bottom of the page. It leads to the anti-meth site. Facts and figures about illegal methamphetamine (there is legally available prescription meth. Does anyone remember this? No) It is factual in that the site declares itself as anti-meth, which is the only fact available in any of the stories I’ve read to date.


Since writing the above last August, the fed passed their standardized rules for the whole nation; I can now have the liberty of being treated as if I would go out and start a meth lab if they would only let me buy a truck load of Pseudoephedrine. As if the people running these labs walked into a pharmacy and bought the drugs over the counter.


And if you think it’ll stop anytime soon:

Experts say teens and young adults are increasingly buying over-the-counter cough syrups and cold medications to get high from one of their main ingredients – dextromethorphan, or DXM. The ingredient is in about 200 products.

“It causes dissociative hallucinations and out-of-body experiences,” said Dr. Ilene B. Anderson, a clinical professor at UC San Francisco’s School of Pharmacy, who compared the fix to “a PCP-like high.”

This week the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents nonprescription drug makers, launched a national education campaign through Web sites, TV and radio spots, and brochures about cough-medication abuse.

Dangerous high sold over the counter

They’ll be targeting your cough medicine next. Hello stupid parents! Cough medicine disappearing from the cabinet? Maybe you should quiz the kid, ya think? Soon we’ll have to sign to buy detergent, moth balls, fertilizer and fuel. Wouldn’t want you making any bombs in your kitchen now, would we?