Why don't they make painergy drinks?
July 16, 2022 1:38 PM   Subscribe

You can buy energy drinks with caffeine and some taurine to cut the jitters. Athletes and high-performers drink often drink caffeine as a preworkout. The same group also takes painkillers for recovery or even for the event itself. And you can buy painkiller tablets, to drink with whatever liquid you want. Manufacturers also sell NSAID gels that you can rub on your body. So: Why don't they make drinks containing painkillers like ibuprofen? Or do they, somewhere, even with a tiny bit like < 10mg? Has this been tried in the past?

Extended Explanation: Hoping for insights into history, science, industry or regulation nuances, etc.

Not hoping for: D.A.R.E. type answers. Thanks everybody
posted by circular to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
Best answer: They do, It's Alka-Setlzer. If there was a demand beyond that, someone else would make it. But I don't think there is. Also NSAIDs and other painkillers are bitter and you don't want to overdose on them when just trying to get hydrated for a workout.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:52 PM on July 16, 2022 [10 favorites]

Best answer: In the USA, NSAIDs are FDA-regulated drugs. Caffeine is not. A drink like that would need to be regulated by the FDA, which would significantly increase the cost of producing it. There may be issues as well about dosage, but this is the first thing that springs to mind.

And if you are about to say, "yes, but what about all of those functional drinks with electrolytes and CBD and stuff?" There are big restrictions about what you can say about those drinks. You can say it "supports homeostasis" but you can't say it will "make your muscles less sore." The latter is a gain/function claim. (Source: wrote copy and content for CBD products for a while, learned a ton about these regulations.)
posted by rednikki at 1:56 PM on July 16, 2022 [14 favorites]

Best answer: There's also BC Headache Powder, which is aspirin meant to be stirred into water.
posted by box at 2:02 PM on July 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I just had a mug of Theraflu, which contains acetaminophen.
posted by btfreek at 2:28 PM on July 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: There is Lemsip.
posted by paduasoy at 2:37 PM on July 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Acetaminophen in large doses can cause liver damage. People have to be warned to check the labels of their OTC cold medicine for acetaminophen, to avoid accidentally "doubling up" by taking pain-killers on top of it. Adding acetaminophen to energy-type drinks would be an extra risk, as many people don't see these drinks as being medicinal even when they contain ingredients such as stimulants, amino acids, etc. I can easily imagine someone with a bad cold taking an OTC medicine and then drinking tasty 'painergy' drinks throughout the day to keep themselves hydrated and energized, and winding up with an overdose.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:07 PM on July 16, 2022 [10 favorites]

Best answer: One example from history: Bex was an Australian compound analgesic that contained, among other things, Phenacetin. The most common formulation was a powder for mixing with water or tea. It was effective, popular, and addictive, causing widespread kidney disease.
posted by zamboni at 3:19 PM on July 16, 2022 [11 favorites]

Best answer: My mom used to chew Aspergum when I was a kid. I think these sorts of products aren't so popular because it seems relatively easy to absentmindedly overdose.
posted by potrzebie at 3:40 PM on July 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Similar to zamboni's Bex, there were Askit Powders, which also contained phenacetin, linked to several suspected deaths.
posted by scruss at 3:45 PM on July 16, 2022

Best answer: Huh, scruss, I was googling Askit Powders not so long ago having read about them for the first time in either Shuggie Bain or Young Mungo (can't quite remember which). Clearly a Glasgow institution in their time. I didn't realise they were quite so addictive, or lethal.
posted by penguin pie at 3:55 PM on July 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I definitely had some version of Theraflu when I was in Paris before COVID for work and got (I think) the flu. The pharmacist and I had a chat (in terrible broken franglish) and he gave me this stuff. It knocked me out in a way US over the counter stuff does not so who knows what was in it.
But plop plop fizz fizz (but hot) and potent is going strong in France, at least.
posted by atomicstone at 4:34 PM on July 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Neo-Citran does this - it’s a medicated powder that you mix with hot water to make a hot lemonade drink loaded with pain relievers and knockout drugs for when you have a cold or flu. I guess it’s a Tylenol and a Benadryl? Whatever it is, it messes me UP - mild hallucinations followed by intense drowsiness and then an overly deep sleep.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 7:28 PM on July 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There are rules about packaging for medications. A drink bottle would seem particularly not-child-proof.

Drinks would presumably have shorter shelf lives.
posted by Comet Bug at 7:35 PM on July 16, 2022

Best answer: My dentist has CBD soda available for his most nervous and pain-sensitive patients. I remember him offering me one maybe, hmm, 8 years ago, after an unusually painful cleaning. It was an interim solution for pain meds, he said, but as I was taking meds that didn't vibe with CBD I declined.

Dude has always been ahead of his time, tbh.
posted by The Adventure Begins at 8:26 PM on July 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Alcohol is available in a variety of formats and is immensely popular.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:01 PM on July 16, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If the drink tastes good, some people will inevitably drink too many and overdose on whatever is in it. Lots of people have had medical issues from taurine containing drinks like Monster and Red Bull because they would drink like 8 of them in a night. But taurine and B vitamin overdose, though it can be unpleasant, is not as damaging to the system as too many NSAIDs, which can erode your stomach lining and /or destroy your liver. That leads to lawsuits. So companies steer clear of making things like that.
posted by ananci at 8:10 AM on July 17, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: It was great to see some really interesting products, insights, and experiences shared here. Thanks everyone.
posted by circular at 8:19 PM on July 17, 2022

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