Friday, September 22, 2006

I Hab a Code id By Dose

Ack, I got it. The Creeping Crud. A Bug. Whatever Is Going Around This Time.

A heckuva juicy head cold.

There's no real cure for the common cold yet. Common anti-virals have no effect, although there a drug in testing, called Pleconaril, that shows some promise. The medical profession lists over the counter medications as optional, since the virus runs its course in seven to ten days. I've had sinus problems my whole life, so I've got lots of strategies for fighting the symptoms. Unfortunately, I'm also a nursing mom, which rules out most over the counter medications and herbal remedies. I'm left with hot and cold compresses, steam, tea, and Tylenol. The problem is that Hubby is working 12-14 hour days right now, so I'm essentially on my own with Kiddo and Baby. Hard to stand under a hot steamy shower for any length of time with the kids.

(Backside-covering anti-liability statement: I'm not a doctor. I'm not a nurse. My medical training stops at first aid and CPR, and I let my CPR certification lapse. Please consult a medical professional.)

The problem with taking drugs while pregnant is that many of them cross the placental barrier, and affect the development of the fetus. The problem with taking drugs while nursing is that darn near everything ends up in your breast milk in some concentration, and your nursing child is in a major development phase.

Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine), my good-ol' fallback, was on the "approved for pregnant and nursing women" list for a long, long time, but has recently been getting re-evaluated and has been moved to the "we think it's okay but just in case" list. Joy.

Antihistamines have long been allowed for pregnant women as a sleep aid, but the newer ones like Allegra and Claritin are too new to be recommended. You could take them, but they haven't been adaquately studied yet. If that doesn't make you nervous, read about the Thalidomide babies.

Homeopathic remedies! Of course! They're all natural, they couldn't possibly hurt my baby, right? Wrong-o. Remember that many modern drugs were developed from nature, and whether that pill started out in a greenhouse or a laboratory, they still contain chemicals to do the work. Homeopathic remedies can actually be more dangerous as there are no established guidelines for standardization of chemical concentrations and dosages.

Here's a hidden risk you probably never would have thought of. Have you seen those plug-in vaporizers? They have a pad saturated with menthol-type oils which are heated and released when the unit is plugged into an outlet. Neat concept. But you can't use them if you're pregnant; as a matter of fact, the SudaCare brand specifically says not to use during pregnancy. Why? Eucalyptus oil is extremely toxic if ingested.

So much for homoeopathy.

I can't even take the Wonder Drug, aspirin. It's contraindicated in children with the flu or chicken pox, and I don't know that this cold isn't the flu, not for sure. It could result in a disease called Reye's Syndrome.

Tylenol! Good old Tylenol, no side effects and good for everything right? Yep, that looks safe. Unfortunately it does nothing for my major symptoms, which are all in my face.

Someone's bound to bring up Vitamin C and its effect on the common cold. I personally believe that vitamins only work as a preventative, not a cure (in other words, I should have been taking it a week ago). But just for you, I found an interesting information sheet on Vitamin C.

*sigh* *coff* *sniffle* *coff coff*

If you're pregnant or may get pregnant, I recommend this article on OTC medications and pregnancy from the American Acadamy of Family Physicians. If you're a nursing mother I found a nice (if dry) information sheet from the University of California San Diego on common drugs in nursing mothers.

Me, I'm going to make more chamomile tea (I can't find any warnings anywhere about chamomile!) and talk Kiddo into watching a movie with me.

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