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Concerned about "medicine head?"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Sportcat, Dec 13, 2003.

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  1. Sportcat

    Sportcat Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Anderson, SC
    This time of year some of us come down with flu, colds, and other assorted nastiness, and end up taking all kinds of meds. Meds can make us sleepy and sometimes a little "loopy."

    So, does this concern you at night, or really at anytime you're "doped up?" I'd hate for someone to break-in at night and me having to operate a firearm.

    Just a thought.
  2. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Manassas, Va
    The only cold medicines that affect me are the antihistamines that aren't "non-drowsy". They're like sleeping pills for me. It's so bad, if I have to take them, I'll cut the dose in half. Other medicines don't have much of an effect on me, even codeine.

    No medicines labled "non-drowsy" affect negatively.

  3. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

    Dec 20, 2002
    Somewhere in the woods of Northern VA
    A good natural dose of epinephrine (Adrenaline) will most likely overcome the effects of any sleeping pill or antihistamine you've taken. If you are in a situation requiring a firearm (and you've been awakened by the threat), you don't have to worry about being under the effect of the mild drugs. Alcohol, on the other hand, isn't as easily overcome depending on the amount imbibed.
  4. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    I have a wierd metabolism, I'm one of those that meds don't really affect me. In fact I'm one that is hard to "put under" for surgery...then I wake up sooner than I'm supposed to.

    I do suffer from allergies and my sinuses drive me nuts. Newer meds are a joke. I do better with Benedryl or Cholortremiton...these do no make me drowsy. I know some that can just read the label on Benedryl...zzzz they are out. BTW Tylenol PM is Benedryl with Tylenol, so if one gets dopey with Benedryl...be aware and take note.

    I rarely take meds, hence the sinus infections I get. FOR ME and each person needs to know for themelves, what affects them in what way. For me, I read and learned about meds to a certain degree, and have the books...I bought the layman's version for mom, I suggest everyone have this so they know for themselves and kids of any drug interactions. One has to take responsibilty for their own meds and drug interactions.

    So I wash my hands a lot during Cold/Flu season and I CCW. I rarely buy Cold/Flu meds...I take just what I need as far as meds not the "complete package" meds.

    I take only what I need for the symptoms.
    Acetaminophen ( Tylenol) -pain fever
    Cholorpheniaramine- antihistamine
    Pseudoeephedrine hydochloride ( Sudaphed) -Nasal Congestant ( NON Drowsy)

    So If all I need is the Nasal congestant, that's all I take. I can add the Tylenol if need, or take separate
    ( I'm allergic to aspirin so I have to use Tylenol for fever/pain)
    Or just take on eof the two antihistamines I listed by itself.

    Where people "may" get into trouble is when they take a "complete Cold/Flu package" and they don't need the Antihistimine and get drowsy . Some may find another antihistimine does not, or less so.

    I don't drink anyway, but with meds the alchohol can cause problems, add the perscripted meds and things get more complicated.

    I CCW, I'm responsible, so I pay attention and stay informed. That is what we responsible gun owners do.

    I found 3 meds causing drug interactions for my mom. I have suggested this to other gun owners, those that CCW to get the layman's book on meds...quite a few found interactions with scripted meds, some talked to their doctor about discoveries and changed to a non-drowsy/less drowsy anitihisitmine. These DRs BTW CCW also, and when asked they better understood the reasons for asking and used free samples until one was found to work best.

    Good Question, one all Responsible Guns owners should ask themselves. I strongly suggest one also take responsibily for any meds, scripted or not.

    Being responsible is what separates us from the sheeple.
  5. manwithoutahome

    manwithoutahome member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Eugene, OR
    Good post, it makes you think.

    I react differently with different meds. Some "put me out" (even some of the non-drowsy ones) and others don't but are less effective.

    I think this is where "prepreation(sp)" is in order. Like a chair or a two by four under the knob on your doors, locking yourself in your bedroom with a good door and deadbolt (usually your "safe room").

    Maybe buying one of those cheap IR alarms (or motion detection) from wally world or your fav. store. Put these to cover your house and doors since you will be in your safe room during the night. Maybe using small nails to nail your windows shut with only the bedroom window not so you can get out if you have too.

    My bedroom has what is called "quick pop" windows. They will come out very easy, from the inside if you hit them just right. But you can stand outside and hit the window and it won't break or pop out. The guy that installed mine hit it with a bat (wooden) and it didn't phase it, made out of some type of clear plastic glass or something, not real glass. I got them because they are more "weather proof" and won't allow as much cold into the room as real glass would have done. Anyway, I'm going on a drift here.

    Oh, and if you can, get the best alarm that you can to sleep with you. Mine is a mid sized terrior that it's bark is worse then it's bite but the BG don't know that and she's very alert.

  6. bogie

    bogie Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    St. Louis, in the Don't Show Me state
    If someone breaks in to my apartment while I've got a cold, that'll just compound things. Good thing I've got a basement to hide the pieces in...
  7. Zach S

    Zach S Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Western NC
    Other than cough drops and BC powders, I rarely take meds no matter how bad I feel.
  8. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

    Sep 27, 2003
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Some geeky information.

    I really like knowing what I'm putting in my body (I get it from my mom) so here's some geeky semi-technical advice on the meds in quesetion.

    What we term "Benadryl" is Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride ... I think I spelled that right. Next time you're shopping for allergy medicine take a gander at the plain-Jane Benadryl box. You'll be able to spot the above chemical no problem -- and the plain jane stuff has JUST that in it.

    FWIW: This is also what Dramamine (motion sickness) pills contain. If you ever need to buy some just check the dosage requirements on the Dramamine box, buy knock-off diphenhydramine hydrochloride and pretty much ignore the allergy dosgae suggestions. Typical motion sickness dosage should be 50 or maybe 100mg. Your typical allergy med. contains 25mg per pill/capsule.

    Anyway, the crap makes you drowsy. Lowers your blood pressure (which makes you feel more drowsy) ... and the lower blood pressure accelerates your heart. The stuff operates on your brain in the same manner the Beladonna or "Nightshade" family of plants -- which are known to cause delierium. If you accidentally OD on the stuff you could end up battier than all get out. I think it's somewhere around 200mg you can plan on getting a little goofy. I took motion sickness pills once and had auditory hallucinations at the regular dosage! Not so bad that i was acting crazy, but I could have sworn somebody had a CD player next to me.

    Watch the dosages -- unless you know with 100% certainty what 100mg of the stuff would do don't even think about touching a firearm. Anything above 50mg and I'd start thinking twice.

    Now, onto cough medications, like Robotussin that everybody gives their kids. Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide. That's the active ingredient that keeps you from coughing. How? Well -- it sorta numbs your body; though you might not notice it. It's actually falls into the category of a disassociate, which puts it into the same range as ketamine or PCP aka "Angel Dust". You know, those things that a cop NEVER wants a BG to be on.

    When taking a very low doses (I forget typical dosage) the tickle in your throat goes away because (basically) you're not aware that you even have a throat. Accidentally take a little more and you won't be aware that you have arms, take way too much and you won't even know if you're actually breathing, standing, sitting, or flying.

    There's also one more "active" ingredient in generic cough syrups. Guarfen-something. It thins out mucus, which lets mucus in your throat slide down a little easier and clears you up a bit. It also does the same thing to the mucus in your stomach though which is why you find it every cough syrup -- has to be in there, else it's too easy to drink too much of the stuff. The idea (I think) is that unless you've got an iron stomach it's hard to OD in the stuff -- you'll begin puking before that happens.

    Regarding the "non drowsy" labels all they do is jam a variation of ephedrine in there to counter the drowsiness. It don't actually STOP you from getting drowsy, it just jacks you back up. It'll constrict your blood vessles and raise your heart rate higher which really makes me question it's use with diphenhydramine hydrocholride (Benadryl). It makes about as much sense as downing the "drowsy" version and sucking down a half a pot of coffee. Not something that bothers -me- persay, but if you've got a touchy heart be careful. Forget about going to the range on that cocktail -- my aim gets pretty far off if I drink more than a few cups of coffee in a workday.

    In short, when you down those "cure all" cocktails you're getting something that could make you delerious, disassiative, and bump your heart rate up. Your liver isn't too fond of ancetometophin (pain killer aka Tylenol) either... and you can damage your body with that stuff, if not kill yourself.

    Iburpofen (aka Advil) is also a little rough on the liver (most anything is really) but there's no known lethal dosage of the stuff. Prescription strength versions are just 800mg capsulens while the stuff you buy off the shelf is 200mg. Dump the prescription, save yourself some money, and just buy the cheap kind if you need that much. No mental affects that I'm aware of either.

    There. Hope everybody has a little more information garding cold/flu/cough medications and can make bettery carry/shooting decisions.

    Edited for spelling.
  9. Ryder

    Ryder Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    I don't take cold or flu medince. I'm sure my reactions would be highly affected just due to sickness itself however.

    Disarming myself is not a consideration.
  10. The Undertoad

    The Undertoad Member

    Sep 27, 2003
    Giga - excellent and informative post. Guafinasin (sp?) is the mucsu-thinning stuff that makes you vomit. And yes, dextromethorphan can be really strange. I normally drink my cold medicine straight from the bottle because it's a PITA to clean the little cap-lid-thingy. Once about a year ago I misjudged and drank maybe 5 oz. Now I don't do drugs recreationally so this experience was a shock to me. I was very out-of-it, my mind was connecting words strangely. I was in a state that lasted I would estimate 4 hours. At the peak, I was scared of the crowd at the cafeteria, and not much in tune with my surroundings - apparently I stared at a painting on the wall for upwards of 20 minutes. :uhoh:

    My friends had a blast laughing at me but needless to say I don't want to repeat the experience anytime soon. It wasn't scary so much as it was unsettling. I definitely don't plan on doing it again...

    To make this little vignette relevant - I would definitely think long and hard about carrying when under the influence of cold medicine! That stuff can be potent!
  11. dischord

    dischord Member

    Dec 16, 2003
    It comes down to deciding how long you want to have bad reflexes. If the medicine makes you better faster, then you might want to take them. It's better to be drowsy for two days on medicine than drowsy for six days trying to kick a bug on your own.

    Then again, it's rare that any of us actually ever will be in a home invasion situation, and even less likely that we'll be sick/doped when that happens, so I wouldn't lose too much sleep about how drowsy such-and-such medicine makes you.
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