People are only just realising pricey Lemsip is no better than cheap painkiller to treat colds and flu

PEOPLE are just now realizing that Lemsip is no better than cheap painkillers for treating the common cold.

Many have been hit with cold and flu symptoms this winter, and some have taken to social media to complain about their “super cold”.

Many people are turning to social media - as they have realized that their Lemsip is not really helping their symptoms


Many people are turning to social media – as they have realized that their Lemsip is not really helping their symptomsPhoto credit: Getty

To relieve their symptoms, they flock to supermarkets and pharmacies to buy medicines that might help.

A common cold and flu treatment is Lemsip.

They come in different flavored sachets, which you then mix with hot water.

On its website, it claims that “there is nothing faster or stronger for a cold, flu, and hacking cough.”

Lemsip contains acetaminophen and phenylephrine, which are said to help clear stuffy noses.

However, various studies have shown that these congestions don’t work — meaning people may be better off just taking pain relief for their symptoms.

Pharmaceutical researchers at the University of Florida tested different brands and found that the ingredient phenylephrine didn’t stop constipation.

Randy Hatton, a professor at the University of Florida School of Pharmacy, said, “The evidence is overwhelming that oral phenylephrine does not work.

“If it doesn’t get into the blood in the first place, it can’t get up your nose and cause nasal constriction, thereby relieving your congestion,” Professor Hatton told The Wall Street Journal.

Oral phenylephrine is metabolized in the gut and liver.

Prof Hatton explained that it can’t actually get into the bloodstream and constrict blood vessels – a process that would help.

Realizing that the ingredients weren’t actually helping their symptoms, many social media users have said, “Why can’t we have a cold medicine that actually works?”.

One said: “It’s the only remedy that helps me. I swear by it. So all placebo?”

Another user added, “I’m sure it makes me feel better.”

“I find cold medicines really make a difference to my stuffy nose and allow me to sleep/get through the day – but I’d have a hard time telling you which medication works best,” added another .

One said it was the “food of the gods” and they wouldn’t want to miss it”.

However, some already said they knew the product wasn’t working: “I just use acetaminophen and hot Vimto and buy a decongestant nasal spray.”

Another said their compound is hot Ribena with ibuprofen.

They claimed, “It’s basically what Lemsip is – hot drink with painkillers – and Lemsip is a total scam.”

In Boots, ten pouches of Lemsip pouches are £4.50.

However, paracetamol costs just 49p for the pharmacy’s own brand, while ibuprofen costs 55p.

It comes after it was revealed there was a shortage of lemsip across the UK.

Demand for the products is said to be “much higher than in previous years” as the UK struggles with flu, Covid and winter cold.


A GP previously said there’s a money-saving hack that could help you lower your bill when it comes to the pharmacy.

dr Karan Rajan said when you buy medicines you should make sure you look for the PL number.

This is the product license number, a unique number of the package that helps with identification.

He explained online: “If you spot two different packs with the same PL number, even if the packaging is completely different and one is branded and one is unbranded, the active ingredient, formulation and product are exactly the same.

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“When a company develops a drug, they get unique rights to sell it for a number of years, but once that period ends, any company can make it.”

This means that the exact same ingredients are found in drugs that can sometimes cost double the price of the branded version. People are only just realising pricey Lemsip is no better than cheap painkiller to treat colds and flu

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