Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"New" and "Improved" cold medicine?

It's the cold season here and I'm not just talking about the weather. Mr. at Home and I have been hit with a killer cold that just keeps on giving and giving - fever, chills, congestion that makes your head feel like a brick, and a snot factory that just keeps increasing production.

Like any good American, I ran to the store at the first sign of illness in search of a miracle cure. In the absence of a miracle cure, I resort to Alka-Seltzer Plus. Growing up, that's what my family used and over the years I got used to the taste. Then they went and changed the flavor, dadgumit. But at least you can get the orange zest, which isn't too bad, and the stuff still worked.

On this particular trip to the store, I found the cold section and imagine my surprise at the dizzying array of Alka-Seltzer Plus options. There were pills and fizzy tabs specifically for certain symptoms. There were day and night versions. There were new flavors. What the heck?!? Don't they know that people who are suffering from nasty colds have absolutely no interest in poring over new medications and reading labels? All the colors and words make their heads hurt. After a frantic search of the labels, I found the spots for the familiar original pills, but they were empty. It seems that everyone else wants the real stuff, too, Mr. Alka-Seltzer!

I finally found a box of fizzy tabs labeled for the general array of symptoms in day and night varieties and I headed to the check-out. On the way I continued reading the box and noticed a little symbol proclaiming new, stronger pain relief. Uh-oh. They had switched out the nice familiar acetaminophen with aspirin. ASPIRIN. Did they not take into account that I am allergic to aspirin?

Back to the cold medicine aisle I went where I put the Alka-Seltzer stuff back on the shelf and grabbed a bottle of Tylenol Cold liquid. I did a quick check of the label to make sure it still contained acetaminophen, then headed home to take some. I am happy to report that it worked just fine, Mr. at Home even took it and didn't complain about "medicine head", and I will be going back to the store today to stock up on a few more bottles.

"New" and "Improved", my...foot.

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