By in Health & Fitness

When Buying Headache Medicine Makes You Feel Like a Criminal

Maybe once or twice a month, I get a sinus headache that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. They are absolutely miserable experiences. Not as bad as a migraine or cluster headache, but they still can really ruin your day.

When I get one of these, the only thing that works for me is Advil Sinus, a combination of ibuprofen and pseudoephedrine. Generic is fine, but it has to be that combination.

As anyone else who suffers from these knows, around 2006 legislation was passed to limit the over the counter sales of pseudoephedrine in an attempt to curtail production of meth. When these laws were first passed, I supported it. We’ve all seen those “Faces of Meth” public service ads and know how this drug destroys lives.

I don’t know what the limit was on exactly how much could be sold at one time, because I’d only buy one box (or two if I had a buy one get one free coupon) but I couldn’t imagine ever hitting the limit.

Recently though, now states have started tracking the sales of this drug, and this gives me pause for concern. As Americans, we keep giving up more and more of our personal privacy, and I always felt uncomfortable handing over my driver’s license on the occasions when I’d pick up a box of Advil Sinus.

When I was up North visiting family a few years ago, I had an experience that really upset me regarding these laws. Sadly, I got a sinus headache when I was up there, and I went over to a local drug store to pick up a box.

The young woman behind the cash register had never seen a West Virginia driver’s license, and couldn’t figure out how to manually enter in my ID plus use the coupon I had. She’d ring up the sale, but then have to void it out and ring it up again. After about the third try I told her to forget the coupon, that it wasn’t that big a deal. She tried a few more times, ringing and voiding.

She then had to call a manager over to show her how to ring it up the right way, but by that time, guess what happened? You got it - I hit the limit of sales, because every time she ran my driver’s license through, it was recording as a purchase I made.

So there I was, pounding headache, and feeling like a criminal just for trying to buy some sinus medication.

The manager had to do an override so that I could buy the item, but this still made me feel very uncomfortable. I didn’t know what would happen. In my overblown imagination, I pictured a DEA SWAT team descending on my house in the middle of the night, busting down my door to make sure I wasn’t making drugs in my basement.

I’ve heard stories of states that are considering making this drug completely by prescription only, and I’m mixed on this, to tell the truth. I think it will wind up hurting people who are already financially stretched to the limit, to have to pay a doctor’s co-pay just to pick up this at the drug store.

Copyright 2013, Revised 2015 FreebieJunkie. Originally posted by me over at Bubblews, now gone.

Image Credit » by TBIT

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CoralLevang wrote on December 23, 2015, 9:27 AM

I'm surprised they will let us buy aspirin anymore.

VinceSummers wrote on December 23, 2015, 10:46 AM

All of this gets old. My asthma was only controlled by over-the-counter inhalers using norepinephrine. Then the battle against freon became so strong, they legislated its use out of inhalers! The companies manufacturing the devices decided to stop manufacturing them. No more bronkaid mist, no more primatene mist. Now my doctor told me, Oh, we have superior meds. Over-the-counter were "dirty" medications that did a lot more to the body than deal with the asthma. There were a couple of catches. Those inhalers can cost hundreds of dollars, rather than ten dollars, and they don't work for everyone, namely ME. I have found (to date) no satisfactory asthma inhaler out there. NOW there is also the case of my nasal polyps. They would pull them from time to time. At first, they used cocaine. No problem, no pain. But then I had it done once, and it was agonizingly painful! The used something like Lidocaine, a completely worthless pain killer if ever there was one. It's criminal. I understand why they do it, but it's still criminal.

wolfgirl569 wrote on December 23, 2015, 3:53 PM

It is sad that the innocent ones are the ones that suffer. I will not buy anything if I have to have my id put in to buy it. Bad enough having to show it sometimes

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 23, 2015, 7:41 PM

Considering that the limits on the sale of this drug do not seem to have made any noticeable impact on the availability or sale of meth, further restricting it would only inconvenience legitimate buyers while having no effect on the amount of meth being sold on the street. Though domestic meth production has declined, the Mexican drug cartels have more than made up the difference.

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 24, 2015, 3:02 PM

I hear that! It does get very frustrating.

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 24, 2015, 3:04 PM

It frustrates me to no end that normal everyday people are hurt by these very issues that you have just described.

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 24, 2015, 3:06 PM

I agree it is. I really wish there was something else that I could take where I didn't have to be tracked, but as of right now this is the only OTC medicine that works for me.

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 24, 2015, 3:10 PM

Exactly! That's why at first, somewhat in support, but once the data was in, it seemed like people were being unduly inconvenienced without any impact on what the law was created for