Don't mix NyQuil with driving


March 03, 2002|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,Special to the Sun; King Features Syndicate

Q. My husband is a workaholic. Even when he is sick as a dog he drags himself to the office because he thinks he's indispensable.

Last week, he came down with a doozy of a cold. The only medicine we had was NyQuil, so he took a big dose, drank three cups of coffee and drove to work. He made it safely, but I think this was a dumb idea. Is there a better cold remedy for daytime use?

A. Taking NyQuil (nighttime cold medicine) and driving to work is not a good idea. The alcohol in the NyQuil (25 percent) combined with an antihistamine can be quite sedating. Drinking coffee won't necessarily overcome problems with reaction time and judgment.

Pain relievers like acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen, which are found in many cold remedies, might possibly prolong symptoms and make cold sufferers more contagious. Alternatives include zinc, vitamin C and herbs such as astragalus, echinacea, garlic, ginger and kan jang (Andrographis). Chicken soup is a time-honored home remedy.

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