It's The Medicine That'll Get Ya

Forget About Being Sick

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:


You may have noticed I've had a cold for the past couple of weeks. It's lasted because I don't dare take anything for it. The warnings they have to give for medicine on the labels and in television commercials make it sound as if they could kill you.

You could die trying to save your life.

When I hear those warnings I try to listen and decide what I might have. The only thing I'm ever sure of is I'm not pregnant. I have no idea what shape my liver is in.

The warnings on boxes and bottles often say to "consult your physician" The drug companies are trying to suck up to doctors so they call them "physicians." Doctors like that.

They make it sound as if you could just pick up the phone anytime you wanted to and have a nice chat with your doctor. My doctor doesn't want to talk to me about nasal sprays. He's got people to take care of who are sick.

Vicks NyQuil for colds: "If you consume three or more alcoholic drinks every day, ask your doctor if you should take acetaminophen."

"Hi, Doc. It's good to talk to you. Say, I wanna ask ya something. Is it OK for me to take acetamemo... achitomeno... acetaminophoin? I mean, I'm not feelin' any pain."

This is for Alka Seltzer: "If ringing in the ears or loss of hearing occurs, consult a doctor."

That makes sense, doesn't it? You can't hear, so you're supposed to listen to your doctor.

I wish they wouldn't put two tablets in a package because I only take one and by the time I want the other one, it doesn't fizz anymore. I imagine they know that.

Neosynephrine: "This product may cause temporary discomfort such as burning, stinging, sneezing or an increase in nasal discharge."

Now they tell me. What did I buy it for? These are the things I thought it would cure.

In the future, I think I'll just consult my physician. I'll ask if it's OK if I have a cup of chicken soup.


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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