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March 1, 2006 08:03 AM

Broken: DayQuil/NyQuil convenience pack

Daynyquil3Chris Henry writes in:

Houseridden by a nasty cold, I bought some DayQuil/NyQuil gel capsules as an alternative to swallowing the foul-tasting syrup. But I had to struggle with the packaging for the capsules. There are no easy-open tabs on the back of the capsule package, and you can't punch the pills out of the backing. You have to tear down the middle and then tear into the cell where the capsules are. Not only that, but you also have to pick at the packaging to finally release the pills.

I think I'll go back to the syrup.


FIRST! Well, I suppose it keeps kids out of them...

Posted by: DaveC426913 at March 1, 2006 09:02 AM

or you could use scissors like the instructions say. not entirely broken.

Posted by: Nathan at March 1, 2006 09:27 AM

Yeah, just got over a BAD bout of flu, and I totally agree. There are little tiny notches that you can tear the packages with, but the thing is, WHEN YOU'RE SICK, YOU'RE WEAK, and these things become impossible to open!

Posted by: Chris B at March 1, 2006 09:36 AM

So what you're saying, Nathan, is that when you are totally out of your mind in pain/cold symptoms/searching for relief, you should wield a sharp object?

I'm thinking the syrup is looking better and better.

Posted by: cary at March 1, 2006 09:56 AM


_&_v - achooo! i tuppode du tould dust fode alonn da dodded nines. achoo!

Posted by: shesnailie_@_ at March 1, 2006 10:08 AM

I think this is like 10-20% broken, but not nearly as bad as described. To get those pills out, I just push through from the top side to pop them through the foil paper in the back.

That way you're looking at the pill you want and won't accidently get a DayQuil pill when you wanted something to relieve your NIGHTTIME sniffling sneezing burping wheezing easy-cheezing etc etc.

This whole argument is moot because this type of packaging is retarded. The OTC medicine industry probably wastes the most space by giving you a huge box that holds 10 tiny pills. Anyone here ever tried Claritin EZ-tabs or whatever they're called? You get a pack of 20 pills, each a little bigger than the head of a pin, and it comes in a box you could put a VHS tape in. Give me a bottle, or give me ...chest congestion and a runny nose.

Posted by: Manni at March 1, 2006 11:08 AM

Totally broken- when you're sick the last thing you want to do is figure out how to get your medication out of its packaging. using scissors is not a viable solution; if you're traveling its not always practical and everyone doesnt travel with scissors; or swiss army knives. Also by pushing out of the package if its a gel tablet it could burst; messy. If its a tablet then it could crumble when being forced out- This package needs work.

Posted by: smartypants at March 1, 2006 12:33 PM

Don't bother with Dayquil at all. Skip the Nyquil and go for a cheap bottle of whiskey and sleep through the nasty cold. Either that or pay some kid in the neighborhood to open all the capsules and put them in a plastic container for you.

Posted by: Capt. Wafer at March 1, 2006 01:05 PM

The problem with these kinds of packages is that you CAN'T push the pill through the backing material unlike other pill packages. It has an 2nd layer that you need to peel off before you get to the "pushable" layer of foil.

However in my experience with pills such as these, I usually have trouble trying to peel off that outer layer, usually stabbing my finger in the quick while picking at the corner trying to snag a piece of it. And then only to fail entirely because the backing itself rips like a torn sticker, making it then impossible to peel off enough to push the pill through. Then I resort to the scissors.

However, using scissors to open a package containing a "liquid-filled pill" is another issue entirely that I won't elaborate on here.

I would say overall that such packaging is 50% broken. Not broken from a "safety and tampering" perspective. Not broken from making the pills kid-resistant. But broken from the perspective of the adults who need it most when they are sick. Even moreso when you're sniffling sneezing coughing aching stuffy head fever and can't rest from this medicine. :)

Posted by: Z at March 1, 2006 02:31 PM

As soon as you get these pills home (That is, before you are sick), cut open each blister pack and dump all the pills/tabs/gelcaps into a bottle (with a normal screw cap). When you get a cold you can easily get your meds.

Posted by: Heloise at March 1, 2006 03:34 PM

The problem is that sometimes you don't think about getting the pills, or getting the pills out of the packaging, until you're sick.

Posted by: Fuzzy at March 1, 2006 03:50 PM

You could just tear at the notch.

Posted by: Dude at March 1, 2006 05:31 PM

Or just use a sharp knife. That way, you can take out your anger, and open the package at the same time.

And I've been able to push those things through if I've had a bad enough day.


Posted by: Gamer at March 1, 2006 06:46 PM

The packaging may only be half broken, overtaken by good intentions. I watched a 60 minutes that talked about people buying cold medicine for the ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in it, to cook into crystal meth. It spoke of how people would buy huge quantities of the pills and sit in the car popping the pills out of the packages into bags, and then selling them to the 'cookers'. The packing is (I am guessing), designed to foil easy popping with the second backing layer,making it so that each pill has to be peeled and the whole strip cannot be popped out quickly. I think they certainly have succeeded in this, perhaps to the point of overkill. Either way the 60 minutes spoke of most states (and even the federal government?) having laws moving the cold medicine behind the counter where you had to register and ask for it (and not get more some small quantity). Further I believe that the manufacturers have replaced the drug ingredient with something that cannot be used to make crystal meth (as a side effect, much reducing the effectiveness of 'new' Dayquil/Nyquil). I bet this 'solution' continues to live on in cold medicine, even though the problem it was designed to solve has probably been taken care of by other means

Posted by: June at March 1, 2006 07:20 PM

From a consumer friendly point of view I say broken. I've encountered other products with this packaging. Personally, I will buy something else (if choice is available) to avoid this packaging.

HOWEVER...from a safety point of view (protect kiddies, stopping meth labs etc) if it protects those who need it then I am willing to put up with it. Small price to pay.

Posted by: @ at March 1, 2006 09:02 PM

Some medications once you finally pry them out of the package, end up broken in pieces which makes the experience much better... you're sick with a bad taste in your mouth, now you have the taste of broken pill and you can't drink or eat anything to get rid of it. Makes you wonder about those that are coated for time release once they break.

Posted by: Poindexter T Quakenfuss at March 1, 2006 10:33 PM

Personally, I don't see why I can't have the medication that works best for me (pseudoephedrine & triprolidine - brand name Actifed, but used to come in many generic forms that were half the price of the brand name stuff) because some low-life wants to make ellicit drugs with it. My attitude is: let them do what they want to burn their brains out; with luck they won't reproduce before killing themselves, and the gene pool will be the better for it (this can be used in regard to ALL abusable substances, by the way!).

Posted by: William the wise_ _s at March 1, 2006 11:40 PM

William the wise: when your neighbours house blows up because someone was cooking meth there, and your kid dies because of it you will wish you suffered with a cold for longer.

Posted by: Onthost at March 1, 2006 11:46 PM

Actually, I'd be ashamed of myself for not paying attention to what my neighbors were doing. Seems I read something about cooking meth was very stinky & easily detected, which is why most meth labs are out in the boonies.... (Please note that you left off the last 3 letters of my name - the underlines don't come through, so I had to change to hyphens - it rhymes with "class."

Posted by: William the wise--s at March 1, 2006 11:52 PM

meth addicts have done pretty well so far, considering that they have so much against them by now. even in their retarded, demented state they continue to secure themselves income. a group capable of forming large crime rings is not going to be stopped by some pill packages.

william the wise--s your stance is one that is understandable for lesser drugs, but completely ignorant for meth. these people will stop at nothing to get $ for their next fix. they cost everyone $$$ and will run you over while occupied with their various imaginings. if the labs were that easy to find they wouldnt exist where they do. meth's collateral damage is too much to dismiss like that.

Posted by: gmangw at March 2, 2006 12:57 AM

Maybe we should start a whole new website, kind of a sister site to This Is Broken, and call it: Packaging Not Intended For Retarded People Who Can't Figure Out How Scissors Work. And we can posts items like this one to that site, instead...

Posted by: Ski at March 2, 2006 07:28 AM

O.K. gmangw, I used a simplistic argument, but I do believe that *WE* should be more involved in doing something about meth dealers & users. I get really tired of the "don't get involved" attitude; it's *YOUR* community, do you want to let the bad guys take it over? These people would not flourish if we did our part. Back to the the reason this post was started: I'm also tired of all these "safety" devices to protect the morons who might hurt themselves (yeah, I know we have to protect the kids; I've got granddaughters I'd give my life-or someone else's-for). Just give me a bottle with a safety cap! The time wasted opening these individually wrapped items really irritates me, even using scissors, etc to force them open. THEN we could discuss the waste of paper & the pollution caused by excess packaging!

Posted by: William the wise--s at March 2, 2006 12:03 PM

I just came back to work from a nasty flu attack. I was out for three days (never happened to me in the past 10 years. I guess the bugs are flexing their muscles). But I just took the new PSE free Nyquil Cherry liquid twice daily (30 ml) since I was down and I was back at work within three days (didn't take any other medication). I had minimal congestion and slept like a log at night which helped me get back to work quickly. I work for Procter and Gamble but this is a totally unbiased and honest testimonial from a consumer. I was a little skeptical at first as this was a new Nyquil formualtion. My wife also noticed the difference in how I felt better by the day after taking the new Cherry flavored Nyquil.

Posted by: Ashoke at March 2, 2006 04:28 PM

I did a study.

When I got the flu I took Cherry Nyquil. The flu lasted 72 hours.

I got the flu again and I took nothing, and the flu took 3 days to go away!

Now that is amazing!

Posted by: Tim at March 2, 2006 05:19 PM


Yes, Tim is right that the flu takes three days to pass. However, I feel compelled to mention that the after-effects, ranging from tiredness and dehydration to pneumonia, can last longer if you don't take care of yourself while you are sick.

Flu medication targets the symptoms of the flu and helps to reduce the after-effects.

As for the DayQuil/NyQuil convenience pack it does seem logical as a method to slow down CrystalMeth producers, however I am sure that these people are finding ways around this.

The problem is that the people making CrystalMeth in large quantities are probably not on it themselves. Therefore they are not going to "kill themselves off".

The other problem is CrystalMeth is very addictive, I have heard that a single dose (just to try it once at a party) can be enough to addict you. Once addicted it is very hard to quit, even in detoxification.

Posted by: Sean P at March 6, 2006 05:15 PM

What the heck is a blister package?

Posted by: joe at April 1, 2006 07:01 PM

Are you just weak?

Posted by: Ian Glenn at April 18, 2006 12:39 PM

It helps if you're smarter than the package.

Posted by: Chris at May 2, 2006 03:25 PM

So THAT'S why it cures headaches, considering getting through the packaging gives you such one!!!


Posted by: Another guy named Alex B. at May 23, 2006 01:21 PM

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