Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Sudafed Trials

First of all, let me preface this post by saying that here in Oregon, pseudophedrine is prescription only, opposed to just being "behind the counter" in a lot of other states. This is due to the extremely high prevalence of methamphetamine abuse--which, have I mentioned, is a nasty, nasty drug.

Now, for quite some time, we've had a four-pronged approach to controlling my allergies, which are extremely severe. Basically, if it moves, grows, or tastes nice, I'm allergic to it. For years, I was almost worthless during several months out of the year because I had such frequent sinus infections and just felt miserable. I wasn't following the "plan", and had seen a holistic doctor. Works for some people, didn't work for me. Anyway, the approach is as follows:
-Daily Zyrtec
-Allergy shots once a month
-Sudafed as needed for congestion (which the number one reason I get those week-long headaches)
-And a nasal spray that I'm supposed to use daily, but don't because it makes me feel MORE congested.

When I got pregnant, one of the first things I did was have my allergist and OBGYN talk to each other and make sure they're on the same page. After they did, my OBGYN told me that I would continue with my regimne as usual. I asked a lot of questions about Sudafed in particular (because I had previously heard that it wasn't safe), and he responded that while there was some risk in taking Sudafed, that in my particular case, the benefits outweigh the risk, and that me not being able to take a clear breath would do as much damage to a baby in utero as the Sudafed would ever do.

So that's all fine and dandy. Until I found myself throwing up all morning (by the way, I'd MUCH rather throw up milk and banana than orange pineapple juice), which then prompted me to look back at what I'd eaten over the past week, along with which days I'd been sick and which days I'd been fine. The one commonality was the Sudafed. Within 30 minutes of taking it, whether at morning or night, I was hugging the porcelain.

I called my doctor, who told me to go talk to the pharmacist, and see if they will do a coated Sudafed or to see what over-the-counter product the pharmacist would recommend for congestion. Apparently Wal-Mart does a coated Sudafed, but Target does not. Then, the pharmacist spent a half-hour berating me for taking Sudafed. I tried to explain that I was under a doctor's care, and that he said the benefits outweighed the risks by far. She really wouldn't let up, and kept talking about how she hoped I wasn't hurting the baby, and how lots of tests had shown deformities. I just kept thinking "when did drug testing by the FDA in utero become legal?"

Sigh. This is what women who take depression/anxiety meds during pregnancy feel like. Even though there's a growing understanding that sometimes it's really necessary, there's still such a backlash against it sometimes.

Anyway, I'm going to at least give Affrin a shot as needed, which the pharmacist was pushing the whole time anyway because it doesn't enter your blood stream.

And now I'm off to go crash, now that I've just taken some Benadryl. Druggie mom. That's me.


  1. Oh, wow. I've worked in a pharmacy the past seven years. I never knew it was RX only some places. And here people complain about just having to sign for it OTC! :\

  2. I'm with you. When my allergies are bad psuedophedrine is the only thing that works for me. The fake stuff that they have out in the aisles just does not work. I can't believe the phramacist went off on you like that. It's like the ones that won't sell Plan B. I'm sorry, but it's your job to dispense the medication that I've been prescribed. Obviously I've seen a Dr. that says I can take a medication, I don't need a lecture from you to go with it. I think if I was in the situation I would have asked for another pharmacist to come over to speak to me and dispense my meds.

  3. I'm sorry girl. If it makes you feel any better in regards to being a druggy mom, I was using Benadryl daily for the first month or two. You're doing what's best for the both of you!

  4. Affrin is the shit. I don't even bother with Sudafed anymore.

    I would also suggest snorting a saline solution in the morning (or whenever you shower; it's best--as in, less messy--to do it in the shower). I forget the measurements of water to salt for making your own, and can't go to my source for such knowledge since it was Claire-Marie's dad, but I did that shit while I was living in California for a summer and enduring a Stalingrad-scale siege from my allergies. It helped a great deal. Clears all the shit out. Anyway. You can buy it in the store, too, if you don't mind shelling out for what is essentially water and table salt.


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