I got carded.. for Sudafed


On Wednesday… I started feeling a little congested. I figured it was my usual season changing allergies that come around every year when the temperature gets warmer.. the ground thaws and pollen starts breaking free from it’s winter hibernation. I took an Allegra, and went about my business.

On Thursday – my left ear started hurting and started feeling very ‘full’ – affecting my hearing a bit. You know how you feel when you have water in your ear and you’re constantly trying to *pop* your ear to get it to drain? Yea, like that.

By Thursday night, it was unbearable.. so I headed to my doctors office to get it checked out. Anyone who know me knows that I don’t actually go see a doctor until whatever it is that’s bothering me is so bad that I can’t function anymore. By Thursday evening, my balance was affected – – I was experiencing dizziness.. so much so that my husband had to drive me to the clinic because I didn’t feel safe behind the wheel, because of the dizziness.

The doc took a look.. confirmed that I had a double ear infection (affecting both ears).. and sent me home with a prescription for 875mg Amoxicillin twice a day (an antibiotic) and 1200mg Guaifenesin twice a day (an expectorant; used to decrease congestion). Even though all of the symptoms I was experiencing was affecting my left ear only – – he told me that my right ear actually looked worse than my left one.

I started taking my pills, as prescribed, on Thursday.

By this morning…my symptoms in my left ear worsened by 300%! The pain tripled and was now affecting my neck, my jaw and the side of my face. The worst part of it? I lost my hearing in my left ear. Not sure if it was because of fluid build up, or that the ear canal had completely swollen shut – – but I could not hear out of my left ear at all.

I decided to hit the clinic again today, and visited the local walk-in clinic this afternoon.

I saw a different doc this afternoon and he changed my antibiotic to Cipro, gave me antibiotic ear drops and a script for Vicodin, for the pain. He also told me to pick up some Sudafed to help with the congestion.

Easier said than done!

I took my new prescriptions to the local Walgreen’s and dropped them off with the pharmacist. They filled the Cipro, ear drops and Vicodin and handed them over to me after I paid the bill.

Purchasing Sudafed requires an I.D.Then I went to get some Sudafed. In and amongst all the cold meds on the shelf, there was a piece of paper with a picture of the Sudafed box on it and a message that says “Take this to the pharmacy window to pickup”.

So, I did. And I got carded! The pharmacy tech copied down my name, my address and driver’s license number – – and then I had to sign a piece of paper called the Sudafed registry.

Apparently, pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in Sudafed, is used to make methamphetamine (Meth) – and in Wisconsin, at least, there is a bill that requires I.D. to purchase it, as well as a registry of the purchasers of Sudafed.

Who knew?

I could pick up my Vicodin prescription without presenting I.D. – – heck, my husband could have picked up my Vicodin prescription for me, if I wanted him to. But to get 12 Sudafed pills – – I have to sign a registry. Seems a little odd, to me.

How much pseudoephedrine does it take to make Meth, anyways? Somehow, I don’t think 12 Sudafed pills is going to do it – – but, then, I know nothing about making Meth – so who am I to question?

Last week, I was carded when I bought cleaning supplies at my local grocery store. The clerk explained that it was because some of the cleaning products I purchased were in aerosal cans – – and that requires an ID because kids will buy this stuff and sniff/inhale it. It’s a practice called ‘huffing‘.

It’s the government protecting us against ourselves, I guess. Stupid is as stupid does….

At any rate – I’m hoping this ear infection clears up pretty soon. Not being able to hear out of one ear is highly frustrating! The pain is intolerable and I’m just a big whiny baby during times like this.

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28 thoughts on “I got carded.. for Sudafed”

  1. I’m so sorry to hear that you are having ear trouble! Look at it this way, at least they let you buy the Sudafed. Here in Texas, not only do you get carded…you can only buy a certain amount a month! Both spouse and I suffer allergies and used Sudafed on a regular basis. We have to alternate buying it, so we don’t go over the alloted amount. Sometimes, Big Brother is a pain in the r-ear.

    (» Read This Eclectic Life’s last blog post..How Many Aggies Does It Take To Make A Comic?)

  2. Oh no!! I’m sorry you’re feeling yucky. 🙁
    I know all about the getting card for cold medicine. The Advil/Cold/Sinus combination is one of my favorite meds because it actually works for my ailments. I was so surprised when they pulled it and put it behind the pharmacy wall and require carding to get it. Now I’m scared to use it too much because (a) it’s such a procedure to get it and (b) they probably track how often I buy it. 😯

  3. I’ve got a very minor infection in my left ear which I’m already complaining about, so your being a whiny baby is completely understandable. 🙂 I hope you feel better soon!

  4. @Jammie – a REAL friend would hop a flight to Wisconsin and spoon feed me homemade chicken soup until I felt better :-\”

    …and I bet you’re on some federal *list* somewhere for Sudafed abuse! haha

  5. @Joni – I hope YOUR ear doesn’t get any worse.. I wouldn’t wish this on ANYone! Thank you…I hope I feel better soon, too :-<

  6. Wisconsin has has these rules for a bit now but
    I live in Milwaukee where they have been
    enforced for past two years. Your small town
    might be different. Huffing, has been
    a problem for some years with teenagers. Well,
    I have been out of High School for 6 years and
    it was a problem back then. Hope you feel

  7. Whatever happened to the serious New Year’s resolution of taking better care of yourself…and not ignoring the early warning signs of a serious illness. I always thought that nurses knew better.

  8. Jeane – thank you. I had heard of the huffing thing.. it was around when I was in school, too — seems to be a bigger problem these days, though.

  9. Tom..I never was any good at new years resolutions. I should know better. And who is ignoring symptoms? I actually made it to the doc’s office twice in less than a week.

    I have an appt. about Ben in the city on Friday, I’m hoping to also see my specialist then, as well, if he has the availability. Planning on calling him in the morning, since, while the pain is gone – the hearing has not returned yet.

    Not ignoring.. just procrastinating.

  10. Hey Lisa, so sorry to hear about your illness. This has been a year for crap infecting all my friends and myself.

    I have been fighting sinusitis and laryngitis for three weeks. My right ear has been ringing for almost as long.

    I was carded, and registered! for Sudafed. Crazy.

    I pray you get better quickly. Mine is almost gone.

    (» Read Randy’s last blog post..Nothing Is As Romantic As Being A Struggling Writer (NOT!))

  11. I’m sorry that you are feeling terrible. It’s that time of year again 🙁

    I recently went through this with my Zyrtec-D when it went from prescription to over-the-counter. It was no problem to purchase it without ID for seven years and now I feel like I’m a potential meth-head.

    Feel better soon.

    (» Read Lisa’s last blog post..Live Now)

  12. I wish we did that up here in Canada. They are leaving it to the Pharmacies up here and guess what? Not only are we the #1 supplier of pot to the USA but now we supply most of your Meth. I actually have no problem with the pot but I’ve seen what Meth can do to a neighbourhood and city in very little time. An exploding meth lab can destroy a city block while the meth itself can leave a neighbourhood soulless. Plus I hate dentists and anything that leads to them making more money is bad. Meth RUINS your teeth, which eventually puts more money in a dentist’s pocket.

    Here in Ontario we have a voluntary program called meth watch. When you are buying these products, you could be asked to explain why you want more than 1 or 2 boxes. Since these products are easily bought everywhere tylenol is sold, including the corner store, I think it’s just a stupid afterthought. But our politicians haven’t really had to deal with the tweaker fallout, yet. They still seem to be operating under the illusion that meth is an American problem.

    Lisa, I am sorry to read you are feeling poorly and I hope you improve soon, but I’m glad you were asked for i.d.

  13. Hi Lisa,
    I’ve popped by your site because I picked up WordPress for Dummies and love it–thank you so much! (Now if only I actually had time to work on my blog.)

    I noticed your interesting run-in with the pharmacist. That happened once when I bought Advil, believe it or not.

    I am a huge fan of Sudafed PE; it doesn’t have pseudoephedrine in it, but phenylephrine. You shouldn’t get carded, and it _really_ works.

  14. Ugh, I hate antibiotics, especially when they’re not the right ones first time around.
    When I had pneumonia (haha, great way to start a story), my doctor gave me antibiotics for the flu and I ended up getting horribly allergic. It was terrible.

    (» Read SG’s last blog post..The One About SG and MFL)

  15. It may be suprising but one box of sudafed can be used to make a substantial amount of meth. Meth is a rising problem in the US and mini meth labs in people’s kitchens and garages are being busted as many times as 30 in a single state. These labs are powered by the key ingredient, pseudophedrine, which they buy at the local drug stores. Some states started this tracking years ago having much success. I see it as completely neccessary to ocontrol this TERRIBLE drug that is tearing people apart. (google image:meth, or meth faces.

  16. I walked into my neighborhood pharmacy to purchase my daughter Sudafed per counsel with her general practitioner. It has been more than 10 years since I required this over-the-counter medication and was stunned when I found a group of paper cards with Sudafed advertising that read “take to pharmacist”. I sincerely thought that pharmacy staff were keeping the medication behind the counter so that tyrants would not tamper with them…boy am I naïve.
    I handed the cashier the Sudafed card and she whispered she needed my driver’s license. I was mystified! I asked her why she wanted it and she said “We need to make sure you are not going to make meth with it”. I was beyond furious and incensed. How dare she attack the dignity I have in front of my 12 year old daughter. I asked to speak with her superior and was told that the ID requirement is a federal policy and my information will be kept in a database to track any attempt by me to purchase large quantities at various drug stores.
    I have never felt so insulted and unpleasant than I did right then and there. I have never even smoked a cigarette or been drunk and some pharmacist suspects me of wanting to buy Sudafed to make meth. What has this countries pharmaceutical laws succumbed to? Does this dim-witted policy really curtail the amount of meth being manufactured in this country?
    Perhaps I would not have been so infuriated if Miss. Cashier would have said it in a different way than “We need to make sure you are not going to make meth with it”. I guess a few bad apples really do spoil the bunch!!!!!

  17. I knew about the ID requirement to get Sudafed with pseudoephedrine, but didn’t just found out that it’s now also required even to get Advil Cold and Sinus. Seriously, what is this world coming to?

  18. I have been feeling sinus pain for a week now and thought I’d stop by Walgreen’s and grab some Sudafed. While I was at the counter and the pharmacy tech was ringing me up I noticed she was giving me the wrong box and not the one I had a coupon for so I mentioned it, she cleared the transaction and began again. I signed my name and verified all the info on the touch screen thinking nothing was going wrong. Then she informed me that it wasn’t actually rung up, so I don’t know exactly what happened, but then when she tried to do it again I got denied. Anyways, the manager came over and didn’t say anything to me, but in the end she tried one more time. I asked for a number to call and get it wiped from my record and the tech had no idea how to do this. Basically, I don’t know if its on my record once or three times, but in the end I left with no Sudafed and no answers. So far on the internet I have not found who to call about it or even who is at the other end of the computer transaction reading the information. I am a bit frustrated, and my sinuses still hurt.

  19. I hear ya! Get it?!
    I have horrible allergies along with ear and sinus problems. I am now uninsured and can’t buy Sudafed. Am I still able to drive up to Vancouver, Washington and pick up some with ID? I am flying next week and am afraid I will blow my eardrum again flying. The Sudafed PE doesn’t work!!

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