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Cough and cold medicines should be checked for pholcodine

Cough and cold medicines should be checked for pholcodine

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Cough and cold medicines should be checked for pholcodine

Tuesday 14 March 2023


The Bailiwick has followed the UK in withdrawing some 'over the counter' cough and cold remedies due to emerging evidence that one ingredient could cause an allergic reaction.

The British Medicines and Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says there is a possible link between consuming pholcodine and developing a severe allergic reaction.

But it stresses that the withdrawal is a precautionary measure, and the likelihood of experiencing severe symptoms is low. All community pharmacies were alerted to the change by Guernsey’s Senior Pharmacist yesterday morning.

A Health & Social Care spokesperson said that people “should not continue to take any product containing pholcodine, although there is no immediate concern of harm.

“Islanders should contact their pharmacy if they are unsure whether any products they may have at home are affected. Any remaining medicine can be taken to a pharmacy for safe disposal where the community pharmacy team will be able to advise on alternative products which they can buy.”

pharmacy pills drugs health

Pictured: Affected products have been withdrawn from local pharmacy shelves.

HSC also said that pholcodine “has a good safety record over decades of use” and that “the numbers of people affected will be very small". 

“The evidence base regarding the effectiveness of cough suppressants is not strong, so it’s now thought that this small risk outweighs any potential benefits of taking products containing pholcodine."

 British products which contain pholcodine:

  • Boots Night Cough Relief Oral Solution, PL 00014/0230
  • Boots Dry Cough Syrup 6 Years+
  • Boots Day Cold & Flu Relief Oral Solution
  • Cofsed Linctus
  • Care Pholcodine 5mg/5ml Oral Solution Sugar Free
  • Galenphol Linctus
  • Galenphol Paediatric Linctus
  • Galenphol Strong Linctus
  • Covonia Dry Cough Sugar Free Formula
  • Pholcodine Linctus Bells Healthcare 5mg Per 5ml Oral Solution
  • Numark Pholcodine 5mg per 5ml Oral Solution
  • Well Pharmaceuticals Pholcodine 5mg per 5ml Oral Solution
  • Superdrug Pholcodine Linctus BP
  • Pholcodine Linctus BP
  • Strong Pholcodine Linctus BP
  • Haleon Day & Night Nurse Capsules
  • Haleon Day Nurse Capsules 
  • Haleon Day Nurse

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