After I got home from my trip to Alaska it didn't take me long to get sick. Two days after returning I got a sore throat which transformed into a regular ol' cold and cough. I despise trying to sleep with a cough. So I chug cough syrup. I've always done it and always thought the red liquid to be innocuous. Then I got hives one night soon after dinner.

I still don't know if it was the medicine that did it but I had to rule out any kind of food allergy. My upper chest, neck and face were covered with welts and although not red, they itched and burned like crazy. My face was significantly swollen, it looked like my fat days. The only clear way to get rid of them is an anti-histamine and I had plenty of that around here, so I initially elected not to go to a doctor.

Just Say No!
What surprised me though is in researching cough syrup in general, I found the ingredient Dextromethorphan to be a nasty drug. It was developed in the 1950's for cough suppression as a replacement for Codeine. Although it was approved by the FDA in 1958 it was quickly found that it has the potential for recreational use when high doses are ingested. Huh? I thought I knew everything about drug use (not really) but have never heard of this.

It was first only available in pill form, then replaced by liquid to make it more difficult for those looking for a high. DEX is just one of the slang terms used by those who abuse it. DEX has dissociative effects like PCP. Crap, I just want to stop coughing, not have an out of body experience.

Also, "Dancing and listening to music are generally enjoyable. Dancing and other physical activities should not be overdone." I didn't ask my family but I'm sure they would have told me if I was swinging off the chandeliers. Well at least I don't have to worry about erectile dysfunction.

I find only a small reference to itching, facial edema, and rashes, but it's still enough to freak me out. It's always been my 'go to' drug of choice for coughing, so now what am I supposed to do?

By afternoon and some anti-histamine in my body I really didn't feel any better so called my doctor to see if she had an opening. They had one in 15 minutes, I made it in 9. She really had no answer for the hives but decided to give me a shot of steroids. I offered my best cheek.

Within a day or two I felt better and not sure if it was because of the anti-histamine, shot, or just time. And I can't really give up my drugs so I will continue to take DEX, but maybe at the recommended dose rather than drinking it like a cocktail.


bill said…
I thought of shingles right away but know that is far fetched. I hope you continue to get better and your illness is soon only a memory.
Grumpy said…
Delayed reaction to the stress of the trip?
kden said…
That's what I thought too Grumpy. And I can't say the shot did anything (she said it was good for allergies too) other than hurt my wallet.
There was a cough mixture here in England, called I think, J. Colliss Browns. It is banned now. Mothers were giving it to babies to keep them quiet. Turned out to be very addictive.
I hope you feel better soon. Probably was a reaction to the disappointing trip. When I say trip I mean the Alaskan one, not a drug induced one. :)
Mr. Shife said…
You are a wise woman, and I am glad you are feeling better. You are also a funny one too, and I am glad you don't have to worry erectile dysfunction.

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