Mastering the Foreign Service exam
Big red eye

In praise of: NyQuil & other great American drugs

Mr. Crab is sick. Not just a little under the weather. We're talking full-blown flu. I feel horrible. 101F temperature, sore throat, congestion, cough, weakness, the works. And I'm taking it very badly because I'm RARELY sick.  Lots of whining and complaining on my end, but Mrs. Crab has been doing a fantastic job nursing me to health. Not only do I feel miserable, but I'm bored out of my mind!

NYQ_ColdFluLiquid_lg  This illness got me thinking about the differences between over-the-counter drugs in the US vs. UK. The first day I got sick I went to the chemist (American English translation: 'pharmacy') and asked for the strongest drug they had. I was given "Night Nurse."  This stuff is crap. It hasn't helped much at all. I didn't even bother going to the GP (American English translation: general practitioner, or 'doctor') because they always say the same thing: "Take some paracetamol."  My fellow Americans, it took me a year to finally realize what paracetamol is -- it's acetaminophen, better known to us as Tylenol. Lame.  I tried another British drug called Beechams. It's also crap.  And doctors in the UK are not very sympathetic. When I suggested a certain drug, the doctor responded: "You Americans, you always want to pop a pill for everything." 

Well guess what, he's right. American over-the-counter drugs are light years better than most stuff we've found in Europe.  And there's about 10 times more choices as well. Last week, a friend visiting us from the states brought me the real deal: NyQuil and DayQuil. I don't know why they don't sell this stuff in the UK because it is a miracle drug. Within 15 minutes of taking NyQuil, I was out light a light. I've slept 12 hours a night for the past week on Nyquil-induced comas. I was surprised to learn that the main ingredient in NyQuil is acetaminophen (paracetamol) but it also has a few extra kicks like antihestimines, which knock you out and then some. I also miss TheraFlu and similar products.

On the flip side, some drugs that are prescription in the US are freely available OTC in the paracetemol with CODINE!  And Claritin and Zyrtek were over-the-counter in the UK years before they were available OTC in the US.

After 5 days in bed I'm finally starting to feel human again, but the bad news is we've run out of NyQuil. Dear mom, please send American drugs!