What's In This Thing

Written by Yaron Schoen December 30, 2009

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Yesterday I had a rough day. Right before leaving for a brutal session at the dentist (cleaning, a root canal... fun times...), I realized I have a fever. Naturally, this left me sick at home. Considering the outside temperature, one would think this is a good thing, but I had a lot of things to do. I tried making some chicken soup from my mom's special recipe, but that turned out pretty nasty. Temperature rising, I felt worse by the minute until my wife, Adva, offered me to take some NyQuil and head to bed.

Usually, I don't like taking medication. Unless it is absolutely necessary, I like letting my body heal on its own. Yesterday, though, was to much for me - I didn't want to be sick for New Year's and I had a lot of work piling up. Being sick seemed a little inappropriate. So I took two NyQuil pills in the evening. 15 minutes later I was knocked out on the couch, drooling on the pillows. My wife tells me it took her about 5 minutes to get me to wake up and go to bed. When I woke up this morning, I felt like I was on some kind of narcotics. I forgot how strong NyQuil is, which lead me to thinking - what's in these magical blue pills? My search yielded some interesting results:

  • Acetaminophen - One of the main ingredients. Basically this is a pain reliever and a fever reducer. When the ingredient breaks down in the body it changes form to Cannabinoid. That word sounds familiar right? It is the same compound found in Marijuana. Oh oh, snack attack!
  • Dextromethorphan HBr - - To make a long story short, this is a cough suppressant. It is also considered a painkiller five times as powerful as morphine (Damn!!). In addition, this is the drug that makes you feel "dissociated", or detached from the environment or yourself. Needless to say, it is the psychedelic or hallucinogenic component in the drug.
  • Doxylamine succinate - This component acts as the sleeping aid. And boy, it's a strong one!

Those are the three main ingredients that make NyQuil such a strong cold medicine (at least from my research). I am sure there is more to it then this but hey, I'm not a doctor. All I know that it is a strong and pretty effective pill. Use it with caution - it may seem like two harmless pills but excessive use may cause you to see Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

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Written in New York. © 2013