April 20, 2006

A Question for You Doctors and Hypochondriacs out There

Posted by Spike

I have had a bad cold lately. In addition to numerous other remedies that don't work, I have been taking some pills out of the Zee Medical chest in the breakroom at work. It's called Histenol-Forte II. It hasn't helped much, so today I decided to get serious; I went to the store on the ground-floor of my building and bought some DayQuil for the low-low price of seven dollars! For only six doses no less. But I am sick, so whatever. And I am happy to report that today I feel much better. So I decided to compare the ingredients of the MercedesBenz of medicine, DayQuil, with the free public transportation of medicine, the HIstenol Forte II.


Acetaminophen: 325 mg (Pain Reliever aka Tylenol)
Dextromethorphan: 10mg (Cough Suppressant, but i don't have a cough)
Phenylephrine HCI: 5 mg (Nasal decongestant)

Histelnol Forte II:
Acetaminophen: 325 mg (Pain Reliever aka Tylenol)
Guaifensin: 100mg (Expectorant--but i don't need it, because, like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, "I am especially good at expectorating")
Phenylphrine: 5 mg (Nasal decongestant)

In other words, i just paid over a dollar a pill for medicine that is, as far as i can tell, functionally identical to the free medicine i could get from work.

Now here's the question for the doctors. Is there any difference between the two? Is there any reason I should feel, better about my decision to drop $7 on medicine that, it appears to me, is pretty much identical to what I could have gotten for free?


Anonymous said...

Haven't you heard of the placebo effect? The expensive ones are definitely better!

Elaine M. Flake said...


I liked your post--it brings up two real life issues we all need to grapple with.

The real issue, however, is did one medicine really make you feel better than the other, or were you just getting better by the time you swallowed the $7 remedy?

Will anyone ever know?

Keep on posting.


Basic Black with Pearls said...

You poor guy. If you aren't sick, you're allergic to someone's cat, like my dear little nemesis Pixie Jean, who never wished you anything but the best. But you can't be in the house with her! Is that why you don't come back home to the Big D where you belong? Arf!

Stephanie said...

I'm checking with my in-house pharmacist and will let you know what he says. Glad you're feeling better! And I'm all about Ny-Quil anything...

your aspiring neighborhood doctor said...

I agree with the placebo effect and the fact that you were probably getting better. Also, dextromethorphan acts on the brain. In super high (recreational) doses, it is a dissociative psychedelic. Guanefesin just acts in the lungs. Even though you took dextromethorphan in the normal dose (I am assuming), perhaps it still made your brain make you feel better. ?? The world will never know!!

J-Rod said...

You should get the real pseudoephedrine. They wouldn't make meth out of it if it didn't work better. Top it off with some Afrin and you're golden.

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