When Syndol isn’t Syndol anymore….

If you’ve ever used Syndol as a painkiller for headaches you’ll know it is *fucking ace* and that there is nothing else like it on the market.

Hence, the uproar when it disappeared two years ago….the woohoo when it briefly came back last year….and the uproar again when it disappeared.

Apparently, it is back on the market. But it isn’t the Syndol that I use to buy.

The anti-histamine in it, Doxylamine, has been removed, and the codeine has been reduced to 8mg, and caffeine added.

It is now paracetamol, codeine and caffeine.

It is still marketed as for “tension headaches”.

As someone who has suffered chronic headaches and migraine since a child, I have tried every over the counter painkiller. Like others, I beleive that there is no other painkiller like it. The closest other thing that works for me is Paramol. The dihyradcodeine in it is much gentler on my system than straight co-codomol, and I use to take one Paramol and one Syndol.

But, Syndol is different, and works, because of the wee dose of Doxylamine in it. Remove that, and all you have is a bog standard painkiller that is like everything else on the market. It is not worth the price tag. You might as well buy a supermarket brand paracetamol + caffeine, and add a generic co-codomol, and that costs pennies.

So, don’t get too excited to see Syndol back in the chemists.

It is hard to believe that something as simple as a generic anti-histamine could cause such problems or concerns in an over the counter medicine.

One thing, in addition, which concerns me, however, is that it is still marketing itself for “tension headaches”. I’m not buying that. Has the company actually completed any clinical tests to determine that it is EFFECTIVE for “tension headaches”? Or is it just assuming so because the previous incarnation was?

So, if you liked Syndol because of the Doxylamine, here is my advice: Import a bottle of generic Doxylamine and cut up the tablets into a smaller does. The Kirkland ones are good, although you need something like milk to take it with as they are chalky and get stuck in your throat. They come in 25mg doses, which is too much for daytime use, so you’ll need to cut them up.

But, here is a warning from someone who has done this: Doxylamine is a more powerful sedative than Valium in clinical tests. So, don’t take the full dose and get in your car. Until you know how you will react to them be very careful. However, sometimes in the evening if I have a bad headache I just take one 25mg tablet without any painkillers and that one tablet on its own can shift the headache.

Plus, you get a very nice nights sleep out of it.

But, basically, Syndol is not Syndol without the anti-histamine. Don’t waste your money.


Why the hoo-ha over the English flag?

As a Scot of English descent I feel that I have a more balanced perspective on the current issue concerning the English flag.

Having just watched an interview on BBC Breakfast about it, interviewing someone from a think tank on identity, it is clear that the English have missed part of the point. The chap from the identity centre – quite ironically – referred to “the people”, “we”, “us” and referenced a poll whereby only 10% of the population thought the flag had sinister connotations. The problem is that he failed to reference that in all these cases he was referring to the English’s view of their flag.

Ask citizens of the other three countries that make up the UK….yes, there are actually other nations, BBC, seen as you regularly forget this….and the English flag is a negative symbol. And it is not for the reasons that the interviewees on the BBC said. It is not because England is “the dominant country” in the UK, whatever that may mean.

English flag = conqueror, occupier.

It is as simple as that. England has spend nearly all of its history trying to conquer its neighbours. Centuries of tyranny, bullying, rampaging, destruction. Longshanks still sends shivers down our spines.

And that is why it is not recommended that you drive your car in Scotland with the English flag flying from it. You will get your windows broken.

I will argue against anti-Englishness that is racist, and will defend the English when appropriate. But until England excepts that UK does not equal England, and accepts the devastating effects that it had on the development of its neighbours, and that its neighbours actually have legitimate complaints, there will continue to be anti-English sentiment. And some of it is legitimate.

Today on Retraction Watch

“This page has a redirect loop”


Is this some subtle dig to the funding hamster wheel?

The endless application, turned down, re-application of promotion panels?

Journal hopping in an attempt to find a home for a crap student project so that you can tell your boss at annual review that you published something this year?

The curious feeling of your mind snapping during a four hour staff meeting marathon?

Dear reader, answers on a postcard. I promise not to redirect you.