The Cost of Being Sick

I've had a cold recently. Normally when I get sick, I do nothing but get extra sleep and wait for my body to heal itself. However, with the holidays so close at hand, I've felt compelled to get well so I don't disappoint anyone who is expecting to see me this Christmas.

It pains me how expensive just a simple cold can be. Here's a rundown:
Sudafed - $4
Nyquil - $4
Tylenol - $4
Cough Drops - $1
Sudafed PE - $4
Afrin Nasal Spray - $9
More Sudafed - $5
Mucinex - $13
Saline Nasal Rinse - $13
Doctor Visit Copay - $35
Parking at Doctor - $2

Total Cost: $94

As often happens when buying medicine, I ended up wasting some money. I wasted the Afrin because my doctor advised against using it (it causes rebound congestion) and I wasted the Sudafed PE because it didn't help me. Overall, I tried to minimize by costs by using up all my existing medicine before purchasing anything new and waiting out my cold for a good week before going to the doctor. I could have saved around $5 if I'd been willing to purchase store brands of Afrin and Sudafed.

I'm lucky that I'm a salaried employee and didn't also lose money for the days of work I missed.

Photo by zingersb



A Million Paths said...

I know this is an old post, but I thought that I would chime in and tell you something that will save you money. The federal government has made it illegal for drugs containing pseudoephedrine to be sold on drugstore shelves. They are still over the counter, but they're now held behind the pharmacy counter and you have to ask for them. They were put behind the counter not because of safety, but because they're a key ingredient in the manufacture of Meth and they're trying to discourage people from creating meth labs.

You're also limited in the amount that you can buy (not so much that it would affect your ability to fight off a cold, but enough that you couldn't make much meth off of a single purchase.) A lot of manufacturers feel that customers won't buy their drugs if they have to ask for them, so they changed their formulas. Drugs with changed formulas include Nyquil, Dayquil, Tylenol Cold, and Sudafed. The thing is pseudoephedrine is what made the old drugs so effective, so don't waste your money on things that are available on the shelves: most of them don't work that great. Advil Cold and Sinus, Mucinex and anything behind the counter is likely to work better (the exception being Zicam which never had pseudoephedrine because it's not really that kind of a drug - it's designed to reduce the duration of an illness and not so much treat the symptoms). By buying (and using) fewer drugs you reduce the cost of a cold. When I'm sick I stick with Advil Cold and Sinus, if I have a lot of chest congestion I toss in Mucinex and I'm done.

Kat said...

Wow, you should NOT be using that many medications in one day!!