Monday, August 17, 2009


Dear 'Doc' SavageNYC:

Due to recent layoffs I no longer have access to affordable health-care, and my prescription drug coverage plan is a thing of the past.

Like many Americans, I'm having trouble obtaining my prescription drug of choice: the appetite suppressant OBETROL, also known as
methamphetamine dextro-amphetamine hydrochloride

Question: are there any safe but 'strong' over-the-counter remedies for those who need a little help in the appetite reduction department? I'm not opposed to 'mixing-and-matching' as long as it doesn't involve a lot of ammonium nitrate or an open flame.





We hear ya.

Last year, after barely surviving an emergency gastric bypass, a friend of ours, who, ironically, was a certified employee benefits administrator, was laid off due to departmental budget cuts.

She, too wanted to know about affordable, over-the-counter alternatives to prescription drugs; her concerns were to treat such complications as gastrojejunal anastomotic leaks and fibroid achrocordons.

We told her a lot of these 'conditions' like "anastomotic leaks" and "bariatric stent migrations" sounded similar to those ailments that you never heard of before people like Sally Field and Cheryl Ladd started mentioning them in 20-minute afternoon infomercials--I mean, how did conditions like "Restless Leg Syndrome" and "Severe Nut Allergy" elude the medical establishment for so long?

Anyway, we told our newly-svelte friend to drink lots of Pinot Grigot and read uplifting advice columns like "Laughter is the Best Medicine" and "Can This Marriage Be Saved?". She'll be okay if she just quits watching infomercials and reading about Star Jones' near-death breast-lift experiences. And walk a lot. Walking is good.

But, back to your problem: obesity is a serious health issue for more than 35.7% of Americans, and appetite suppression is no laughing matter. What's worse, sometimes our 'stomachs' are bigger than our 'pocket books' and we end up 'eating ourselves all the way to the poorhouse'. Those little 'entrees' at dinner can hike up your overall food bill by as much as 46.7%*. No doubt: the more you can avoid eating, the better off you'll be.

But how do all of these Tracey Golds and Mary-Kate Olsens and Dennis Quaids of the world do it? Without ending up in Karen Carpenter's, er, shoes ? Purging is out of the question for many of us, savagenyc included. Too taxing on the body and there's that unpleasant smell sometimes associated with Bulimia. Laxative abuse? Sounds intriguing, but probably messy and inconvenient.

No, a lot of it is mind-control.

But sometimes, even with the most iron-willed mind control, a little "help" comes in handy, even if the 'help' is really just the placebo effect. Take, for instance, Benadryl Allergy Sinus Headache or Dristan Cold Non-Drowsy. Or.... Triaminic Softchews Allergy Sinus. Or, perhaps a "cocktail", like Alka-Seltzer Cold and Sinus LiquiGels with a Tylenol Sinus Childrens chaser. These are all affordable, over-the-counter cold remedies which, when taken or combined in...recommended doses, could conceivably mitigate the desire for carbs, protein and glucose.

But don't just take our word for it. For fact-checking purposes, we turned to our equivalent of the Physician's Desk Reference ("Google"), and investigated which affordable, over-the-counter cold/sinus medications might cause certain side effects, such as....loss of appetite.

According to, the following over-the-counter cold and sinus medications contain pseudoephedrine aka speed: Alka-Seltzer Cold and Sinus, Allerest No Drowsiness, Bayer Select Decongestant, Benadryl Allergy Sinus Headache, Dristan Cold Non-Drowsy, Ornex, Ornex Maximum Strength, Sinarest Sinus, Sine-Off Maximum Strength, Sudafed Sinus, Tavist Sinus, Triaminic Softchews Allergy Sinus, Tylenol Sinus Childrens Softchews

Most of these over-the-counter medications can be bought in convenient 2packs at family pharmacies near you, for minimal fees, like $1.00 to $1.50 per 2pack--and most doses last a minimum of three hours. Compare this to reports of uninsured individuals being charged up to $308.00 per month for Obetrol, which is now called Adderall, and was a popular weight-loss drug in the 60s and 70s. It's a real dilema---because one would assume taking Adderall for a month would be safer than taking Triaminic Softchews Allergy Sinus every day for a month, but perhaps you could go the former route for the first 4 weeks, and then splurge the following month on an office visit and Adderall prescription, in order to save your by-now shot liver.

Take care,

'Doc' Savagenyc

*we're making this up but it sounds reasonable