kids and the great cough syrup scam

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Jan 17, 2008 Under kids

If you’ve been watching even one iota of news lately (Me?? I get to watch thousands of iotas daily, thanks to my nurse-aholic baby.? And I don’t even like the news), you’ve heard about kids and the cough medicine recall.? Not to quote Tim Gunn (Yep, I? am a? Project Runway junkie) but—this disturbs me.

What? bothers me the most?? Well, if you answered “the? FDA’s grossly negligent acceptance for years? of a product that has a lower rate of efficacy than? spitting does to control raging forest fires”, then you’re missing the bigger picture.? Oh, your basic premise is correct—the stuff don’t work.? (And actually, it goes beyond that—cough and cold medicines? can be dangerous to children under the age of two).

But? the woeful inadequacy of the FDA? isn’t what slays me about? this whole debacle.? What does? ? It’s simple.? What’s? by far more terrifying to me, in a Stepford Wives kind of way,? is the fact that millions of folks have? downed this stuff for years, and somehow nobody ever noticed? it doesn’t actually produce an uncough.

Creeped out yet?? I should hope? so.? Because the mind-boggling question we have to ask ourselves is this–are Americans really so brainwashed by the drug companies that we didn’t notice we were still expectorating??

Please, somebody tell me the thought process here.? Is it something to the effect of, “Hmmm, I know I’m still coughing, but my doctor and those commercials? assure me this stuff works.? I must be hearing things—I wonder which pill I can take for that?”? I mean, how many times have YOU purchased an over-the-counter cough remedy?? If the answer is more than once, then you too, my friend, have been sucked into that swirling vortex? known as? pharmaceutical propaganda.? Some serious soul searching is in order? (not to be confused with Soul Coughing, the now defunct band whose lead singer collaborated with BT on the? super-cool club hit “Never Gonna Come Back Down”) to get your health care? back on track.

And what gives with this? everlasting faith we bestow upon? the medical and drug communities, anyway?? Is it those commercials that advertise the new drug of choice?? You know the ones—where? shiny, happy? people are skipping around performing all? kinds of? sports they never knew how to play just moments before.? Ads that subliminally say, “take this drug, and you, too, can become a champion sky-diver, even with debilitating arthritis at the age of 90″.? Then at the end, faster than a (‘roided up) baseball pitch, they list the side effects.? And I’m sorry, folks, but I’m not giving the public an easy out? here.? Even at warp speed, I think the human ear picks up phrases like “kidney failure” and “horribly violent seizures” and “long and excruciatingly painful? death”.

? And what about the antibiotic debacle?? How do you think super-bugs like MRSA came to take up residence amongst our communities?? Was it from sound drug practices?? I think not.? Most of the sources I’ve read point the finger at the gross over-prescription of antibiotics that occurs on a daily basis in our country.? I mean, let’s face it—these days, physicians hand out antibiotics for everything from the common cold (here’s a clue–they don’t work) and the flu (it’s still a virus, folks) to hiccups and wrinkles (can you prove its never happened?? Color me skeptical.).?

And before you ask—no, my family members are not complete teetotalers in the pharmacopia of life.? We’ve been known to get hopped up on an ibuprofen here and there.? I also give my son more holistic type remedies. For his cough, he gets horehound (not as? gross as it sounds), elderberry (seriously, can you even say that without? smirking and reciting, “your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries?”)? and honey? (a spoonful of sugar, all right, but hold the side of medicine).? Heck, I’d go so far as to say I’d take antibiotics if I had an infection—of the flesh-eating variety.? But do we really need to run to the pharmacy for the slightest ache or pain?

For example, take the ibuprofen I just mentioned.? Did you ever consider the reason it makes you feel better is because it interferes with our body’s natural infection-fighting process?? What’s that mean in a nutshell?? It’s simple—ibuprofen delays healing.? And don’t get me wrong—sometimes, taking an Advil is a more viable option than sitting around feeling like a day-old dung heap.? But where is the FDA’s truth in labeling there?? I mean, you can’t buy a simple? box of garlic tablets? without reading a whole plethora of alerts from the FDA (hello, the bucketfulls of Italians who ingest? the stuff? hourly from birth seem to be doing just fine, thank you), but yet the drug companies seem to get immunity.? Something’s fishy in your local sushi restaurant, folks, and it ain’t the day old sashimi (yes, there is such a beast–my husband used to eat it in Chicago.? Hey, it was way cheaper–imagine that.)

So, to make a longish story shortish—I’m not saying? never use drugs.? I’m saying educate yourself.? Because the kind of education the drug companies are giving us ain’t the kind we need.? And? we’re still coughing to prove it.

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2 Responses to “kids and the great cough syrup scam”

  1. Donnell Says:

    I don’t know, Debra… Pediacare has stopped MANY a runny nose in our house. It seems to me that most who are on the “cold medicine doesn’t work in young children” train are those who indicate they don’t use the stuff. So my questions is how do they know it doesn’t work if they don’t use it? Perhaps they have their own agenda?

    It seems to me the issue of safety comes into play in regards to the abuse of dosing in small children by their obviously ignorant parents. There are parents out there – who instead of placing a call to their family doc to get the dosing level for their child – decide their 13 years as an auto salesman qualify them to determine medicinal dosing for an eight month old without the assistance of a medical professional. Does this mean the medicine is unsafe for young children or does it mean that, as we have all suspected for years, there needs to be some sort of licensing process for having a child. Three trips to the DMV with various legal documents and extensive background information will get me a license plate, but I’ll be dammed if I can’t have a kid when the guy at the local bar looks at me in that “special way.”

  2. admin Says:

    Good points. I think we’re having mainly a disagreement of semantics here, though. It’s actually only cough medications that have proven completely ineffective–not decongestants.

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