“ Brand: Lemsip. „
At the moment I am suffering with a really bad cold. Luckily I am currently staying at my mums house so I'm very well looked after and one of the things she got me a couple of days when she was out and about was some of these Lemsip Breathe Easy Lemsip Hot Lemon Drinks in a pack of 5 (she actually bought 3 boxes of them lol) which I later found out only cost her £1.00 a box in a local discount store.
I go from being hot one minute to cold another, one minute my nose is streaming and next I'm feeling really bunged up. I've got a dull headache and aches and pain sall over the place, I can't seem to stop sneezing and my throat hurts like hell and my cough is again one minute dry but the next chesty. No matter what the symptoms are I feel really rough and really unwell and my nose is brighter red than Rudolph's!
I have been dabbling with a variety of tablets and medicines and a few herbal offerings too for the past week but nothing is really helping and I'm now going into week two with this cold and everyone around me has started to sneeze and look a bit worse for wear which is why I think Mum got me these lol.....she's worried about coming down with herself!
The individual sachets come in a mainly dark green box and on the front of the box in yellow and white writing we are clearly told that they are Lemsip Cold & Flu Breathe Easy 'Phenylephrine Hydrochloride, Paracetamol' and that they are Lemon & Menthol flavour and that they are to help with Fevers, Headaches, Body Aches, Blocked Noses and Sore Throats and as I mentioned earlier there are 5 in a box so that is stated and there is a picture of hands holding a mug of it and incidentally there is some braille on there and then on the back of the box other information listed includes being told a bit about what the drinks are for, directions for using them are clearly stated as are the ingredients and warnings and contact details for the manufacturer are given. Inside the box the sachets are squarish in shape and easy to tear into and the same colourscheme as the outer box and on each one is basically the same information as given on the box too which is handy is you for any reason you want to go out and feel like you may want to take a couple with you so you can discard the box and inside the box there is a leaflet giving yet more information about the product.
Using The Drinks:
The instructions given on all of the packaging is clear and concise. They are suitable for children and adults over 12 years old and you can take 1 sachet every 4 hours and shouldn't consume more than 4 sachets in any 24 hour period and you shouldn't take these if you suffer with heart disease, high blood pressure, have an over active thyroid, have had a peptic ulcer or you have taken MAOI'S (antidepressants) within 14 days prior to wanting to use these and you do need to consult a Dr or Pharmacist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking these.
These are really simple to make up. Simply pour out the sweet light lemon dried, fine powder into a mug or cup and simply fill with hot but not boiling water and you end up with a thin, transparent and again lemon smelling light lemon colour drink. You can if desired add a bit of honey to it or sugar or sweeteners...me I drink it as it is.
This tastes really nice and soothing. It tastes naturally of lemons and is sweet in a sugary way and in not one bit artificial way (which I hate!). There is a hint of menthol to the drink but nothing much and no nasty after-taste is left after drinking it.
One sachet contains 650g of paracetamol which is to help with headaches, sore throats, any fever you may have, bodyaches and general pains and it also contains 10mg Phenylephrine Hydrochloride which is a know decongestant to help combat a blocked nose.
You should not take any other product that contains paracetamol with these, if you want to do that you have to wait till four hours has passed after having one of these drinks but to be honest one of these sachets contains more paracetamol in it than the one's I usually take so I'd rather consume this!
Are They effective?;
Usually I would say no when it comes to this type of product but these really are brilliant. They are nice to drink and taste really pleasant and calming. I noticed just as I was sipping it that the menthol this contains started to unblock my nose and help me to breathe the easier! After a few minutes my headache started to lift, my temperature came to what felt like back to normal (I was burning up prior to my first one of these!)and my aches and pains seem to disappear.......they did return though after an hour or so mind but I was at least happy with some relief for a time. The only thing they didn't help with was my sore throat which is dry as well and I have some sort of cut open ulcer in it but then I didn't expect it to help with that to be honest!
My chest felt less sore where I'd been coughing too and I certainly stopped coughing and sneezing so much however, again those things did come back to haunt me later but then I just took another one of these when the time came.
I may still have a cold but these do help me get through it a bit better and I'm now a convert to these! I simply think that they are a brilliant buy and I will certainly be going back to the shop Mum got these all from when I am better to purchase some to pop in my medicine cabinet 'just in case'!
Available in all good supermarkets, chemists etc or Google for stockists online!
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
So, here comes winter, and along with it the obligatory cold that has begun to circulate amongst everyone in my office. After finding some decent healthcare bargains in Poundland during my last bout of illness, I went there again and discovered this Lemsip Max Cold and Flu Breathe Easy medicine. A packet of 5 sachets cost me (obviously) just £1.00.
Product description: "For the relief of symptoms of cold and flu, including aches and pains, nasal congestion and lowering of temperature."
I have extreme difficulty in taking tablets, and so I always look for alternative types of medicine that offer a similar result to pill forms. There is some sort of mental block that prevents me from swallowing pills and I find the process very uncomfortable. Hot powder drinks are a popular cold treatment and luckily for me they are easily available on the high street, and very easy to take. Lemsip are pretty much the biggest name brand in cold relief medicines, and I was pleased to have bought this at such a low price. The Breathe Easy cold and flu treatment comes in a box containing 5 individual use sachets. The powder inside is simply dissolved in hot water to make a soothing drink.
Recommended directions for use: For oral use. Pour one sachet of powder into a mug and fill with hot, but not boiling water. Stir until dissolved. If preferred, sweeten to tste with sugar, honey or your usual sweetener.
Adults and children 12 years and over: 1 sachet every 4 hours as required. Do not exceed 4 sachets in 24 hours. Do not give to children under 12 years of age.
I mix up these drinks as recommended, first adding the hot water and then also adding a splash of cold water so that it cools just enough for me to start drinking it straight away. I usually love honey and lemon flavours, and this is my preferred choice when it comes to flavoured medicines, but unfortunately in this case it is also mixed with menthol which gives a strange overall flavour and slightly tingles in my mouth as I am drinking it. I have to take it slowly sip by sip, and the sharpness of the flavour makes me grimace after each mouthful. I always add in a spoonful of honey to make it a little more palatable and also for the added benefit of soothing my sore throat, but this still does not hide the unusual flavour of the powder.
Paracetamol 650mg - analgesic and antipyretic - for relief of headache, sore throat, fever, body aches and pains.
Phenylephrine hydrochloride 10mg - decongestant - for relief of block nose
Also includes sucrose and aspartame. Total contents of sachet 4.8g.
I made use of these sachets over the course of a week, with one or two per day being enough to help me make it through the worst of my symptoms. On the one day that my cold reached its peak I took three sachets at the recommended intervals, and they offered little comfort. The medicine seemed to take much longer to have an effect, and when it did finally start to work it only really took the edge off, and did not completely relieve the headache pain and blocked nose that I was suffering from. Aside from this, my recent cold has been quite manageable with the aid of the Lemsip sachets. The paracetamol works effectively, as I would expect, and this helped to ease my frequent headaches so that they were no longer noticeable and I could carry on with my day without experiencing any pain. I have previously tried a few different varieties of cold relief powders made by various brands, and this Lemsip version is the only one (so far) that has managed to live up to its claims to relieve a blocked nose in addition to reducing aches and pains. I noticed that my nose was clearer and I could breathe more freely again after taking this medicine, which certainly had an effect on my overall wellness and made me feel much better.
I think these Lemsip Max Cold and Flu Breathe Easy sachets are a fairly effective cold treatment. The powder sachets provide an easy to use alternative to tablets, but I did struggle with the off-putting flavour. I would choose to use this medicine when I have a mild to moderate level cold that is too uncomfortable to ignore, to provide some relief so I can continue working without distractions. However, it didn't seem to make much of a difference for the brief period when my cold was at its worst. Overall, it is a good medicine that helps to ease headaches and soothe blocked airways at the same time.
Once in a while I tend to grab a box of Lemsip, normally if I'm at the start of possibly coming down with some nasty cold or flu type thing, if I'm in the middle of a full blown assault on my immune system or at the end. Either way I take it not to cure, but just to ease the symptoms slightly. I picked up a 5 sachet box of this product for 31.00 in my local Home Bargain store. Never seen the breathe easy variety before and realising my nose was a little snuffly ( but nothing major ) I thought I would give it a go.
What is Lemsip?
Lemsip now comes in a variety of different forms, but the most common and memorable for me is the powdered variety in sachets. Normally in boxes of 10 sachets, but also in 5. This product is to help relief the symptoms experienced when you suffer from colds and flu such as aches, pains, nasal congestion and also can help lower body temperature.
How is it packaged?
The product as mentioned comes in individual sachets within a small cardboard box. The box itself is quite striking in colours and design. The main colour is green with ' Lemsip ' in bold letters at the top. There's a picture of a hand holding a mug on the front with clear indication of what this product can help with in regards to symptoms and importantly mentioning at the bottom that this product contains paracetamol.
The back explains how to use this product, ingredients and has the relevant warning details on it. On the side it has contact details for the company who makes the product.
I love the fact it comes in its own sachets because that is exactly the measured dose needed, so no guessing how much to put in the cup/mug. Its not a major clear up job afterwards as all of the contents goes straight into your cup and its easy to carry around if you needed to take one when out and about. Its also great that all relevant details including how to use is on the sachets so you don't have to refer back to the box.
How do you use?
This is a product to drink. Put one sachet into a mug and fill with hot but not boiling water. Stir til all the powder has dissolved. Can be sweetened if needed. Drink. For adults and children over the age of 12, 1 sachet every 4 hours can be taken if needed. Don't take more than 4 sachets in 24 hours, and this product isn't suitable for children under 12.
What's the active ingredients?
Paracetamol 650mg, Phenylephrine hydrochloride 10mg ( per sachet ). Also contains sucrose and aspartame.
So what do I think of this product?
I have always liked the fact Lemsip is easy to use, mix with hot water and drink. Its never been the nicest thing Ive ever tasted, but I don't mid it. I don't buy it because of how it tastes to be fair. I am alittle disappointed with the menthol element to it. You could hardly taste it, and to be honest, it was more of an after taste rather than first taste and it wasn't obvious at all. I didn't feel that it did anything for my nose, and I would really have had to concentrate to tell the difference apart from this version compared to the original.
The taste for me is more or less the same as the original. There is that slight citrus taste to it, but its more a powdery crushed up paracetamol taste to it. It doesn't matter how well I stir this drink, it always has that powder taste to it, initially when I drink it, and then the aftertaste. It doesn't bother me as I'm used to it. If I wanted to buy something that tasted amazing then I wouldn't be buying something for medicinal purposes.
Obviously with it having paracetamol in it, it has done me a little good in regards to my slight headache I've had for the last few days. Its just such a shame it didn't do anything for the old nasal area!
Would I buy this again?
It didn't cost the earth, it was £1.00 for this box of 5 sachets and in the supermarket for the 10 sachet box its roughly double the price. I wouldn't buy this variety again because as mentioned, the menthol element did nothing. But I would buy the original for general aches and pain and when I'm simply too damn lazy to swallow a whole paracetamol tablet.
Having run out of our normal Lemsip Max we were in a fix. It's the only thing my husband will take when he has a cold and we are all currently struggling with sore throats so we were forced to stock up on a trip out when we were shopping at an out of town shopping centre for some house bits and bobs. Next door was B&M which sells virtually everything so I suggested we stock up there and then.
There are lots of varieties of Lemsip and as long as it is branded just that my husband doesn't mind the variety. There was only one type at B&M and it was the 'Breathe Easy' type. Basically, I think it is the flavour that lends itself to the title with the main ingredients being lemon and menthol flavour in addition to the paracetamol contents. The list of things it treats is on the box: fever, headaches, body aches, blocked nose and sore throat.
I just add the sachet to mug and tip in just boiled water and it sort of fizzes on initial contact. It's best to wait a few minutes before drinking as it can burn your mouth if you drink too soon. Left too long though and it is vile tasting if drunk cold. My husband fills a travel mug with this for his journey to work when he is ill and he says it makes a world of difference to how he feels by the time he gets to work.
Size and price
The box has 5 sachets in it so we grabbed two packs as five won't last long with my husband who swears by these. As usual, B&M are a bargain price guaranteed store and we paid £1 per box which is quite good.
This Lemsip tastes quite nice wiht the menthol adding quite a medicinal flavour to it. I am used to the lemon and on occasion blackcurrant version but I don't mind this one. It definitely eases a sore throat which is what we are treating at the moment and the paracetamol helps with other symptoms. When asked what he thought, my husband was pleased with this particular type of Lemsip and takes a regular dose although he says he prefers the original formula better. You have to be careful when taking this if you are using other medicines to ensure you don't overdose. An adult can have a sachet every 4 hours but no more than 4 sachets in 24 hours.
Another highly recommended variety from the Lemsip range. Best to keep some ready in the cupboard for when illness strikes.
What is lemsip?
Lemsip is a lemon flavoured drink which relieves the symptoms of colds and flu, including relief of aches and pains, sore throats, headaches, nasal congestion, lowering of temperature and chesty coughs. It is only for adults and children over the age of 12.
What does it contain?
Like many people, I suffered with a really bad cold in the winter. My sisters both recommended that I try lemsip as it had worked for them before. They also both warned me that the taste is awful, but worth it. So I decided to give it a try. Lemsip comes in sachets which you make into a hot drink by adding hot water. I also like to add a little sugar. It is very easy to make. The first time I tried it I thought the taste was disgusting. It tastes of menthol quite strongly with a hint of lemon. I sipped my through it but the first time I tried it I couldn't quite manage the full mug because I just couldn't stand the taste. However, I soon started to feel the effects of it and felt quite a lot better that evening.
For the next few days I had 2 lemsips a day and the effects on how I was feeling were amazing. Also, somehow they seemed to stop tasting quite so bad. In fact, I started to quite enjoy the taste of them. From speaking to a few other people i've found that people seem to either love or hate the taste of lemsip, so maybe it's a marmite medicine- you love it or you hate it. Or maybe it's an acquired taste. Either way, whether you like the taste or not i'd say the effects on health are worth it as I was right as rain in a few days.
Price and availability
Lemsips are available from most supermarkets, drug stores and pharmacys. They usually cost around £3 for 10 sachets, which some people think is a lot but I think it's worth it.
Apart from the debate over the taste, I can't find fault with this product. I'm glad I discovered it and would recommend it to anyone. 5 stars from me.
So far I was thinking to myself I have been rather lucky as I haven't been stuck down with coughs, colds and flu as normally I catch any bug going. But my luck was short lived as last Sunday it started with a sore throat, which wasn't too bad but then the head aches started and the block nose. Then my asthma started playing up so even a week on I'm still not one percent.
Lemsip Cold and Flu Breathe Easy - Lemon and Menthol Flavour:
'If you're really struggling to breathe with a blocked nose, then this hot drink with added menthol can be your salvation.'
It claims to help with -
Body Aches & Pains
All of which I was suffering with, I had used Lemsip before but not this version and in the past it had helped so I had great hope already in this brand.
So far all I had been taking was paracetamol which clearly wasn't working, so while my partner was doing some shopping in the pound shop he spotted Lemsip Cold & Flu Breathe Easy. I started taking these on Thursday (it's now Sunday) and happy to report they really have helped. It states you can have one sachet every four hours but you must not take anymore than four sachets within a twenty four hour period.
I took mine three times a day, when I woke, then again on the afternoon and before I went to sleep. Along with this I was also taking simple linctus to help with my cough.
I couldn't really taste much the first time I tried these due to my sinuses being blocked, but the following day I could breathe easier and smell a lot more than I could. It's an acquired taste I have to say; I do like normal Lemsip hot drinks however the menthol in this wasn't that nice but still drinkable. Knowing that it helps too keeps you drinking it!
After a couple of days, my head feels a lot better, ear ache has gone, the shivers have gone and no blocked nose but I'm still left with a dry cough.
Each sachet of powder contains the active ingredients paracetamol 650mg, phenylephrine hydrochloride 10mg. The Phenylephrine hydrochloride is a decongestant that reduces the swelling in the nose passage, relieving congestion and reducing the pressure which may cause a headache. The paracetmol is the pain killer part of the mix which helps against aches and pains and can help to reduce a fever.
Price and Availability:
Lemsip Breathe Easy can be purchased from pound shops for a box of five sachets which is very good value; however as my partner only purchase one box when I was running out he popped to our local chemist which cost £2.29 for the same box.
How to take:
This product is for oral use only all you need to do is pour one sachet of the powder into a mug and fill with hot water; but not boiling water. What I normally do is boil the kettle and wait a few minutes before I pour the water into my mug.
Adults and children over twelve years of age can take one sachet every four hours as required, but it does state no more than four sachets within a four hour period. Not to be given to under twelve.
As this product contains paracetamol they state not to take any other medications that contain paracetamol while using this product.
Very happy I took these all I'm left with is a horrid cough but being told from the doctor it will take a least seven to ten days before it will clear up; all I can do is keep drinking plenty of warm drinks.
I would certainly recommend Breathe Easy to the cold and flu suffers out there within a couple of days I was feeling much better than I was. I will from now on keep a box in the medicine cupboard just in case it's needed again; and the way the weather is I'm sure they'll be out again!
As I am not a doctor I would advise you talk to your chemist or doctor before taking any medications, and while using this products it helps to have a good fluid intake.
And ALWAYS read the leaflet provided there could be something your allergic to, or may not be able to take if pregnant or breast feeding.
Five out of five stars from me!
Thanks for reading :o)
The other ingredients are citric acid, sucrose, sodium citrate, aspartame, lemon and menthol flavours, saccharin sodium, curcumin WD and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).
Phone: 0500 455 456
It's that time of year again when colds and flu seem to be affecting many of us and we take to the medicine cabinet in search of relief. In our house, my wife tends to favour the branded products whilst I generally go for the cheaper options.
At present for colds, I am using Abdine sachets from Home Bargains which do the job for me. I have just been generous enough to pass my cold onto my wife so she has been using these Lemsip Cold and Flu Breathe Easy sachets.
I have now run out of the cheaper option and since Friday have been stealing my wife's stash of Lemsip. She would normally buy the regular Lemsip and I didn't even know she had this premium variant until I went a hunting around her favourite stash sites.
Now there's only 1 sachet left so I shall dutifully let her have that one and I will restock tomorrow when I am out and about.
These breathe easy Lemsips are made in the same way as an ordinary Lemsip, pouring the powder from the sachet into the mug and then adding hot water and stirring. You then sip the drink until it is finished and sit back and wait for some relief from your symptoms.
The product contains 650mg of Paracetamol which is an analgesic and as an antipyretic it can also reduce fever.
It also contains phenylephrine hydrochloride - a nasal decongestant.
It also contains Vitamin C and we are advised to keep our level of this vitamin stocked up as reserves can be depleted when you have a cold.
Compared to normal Lemsip, I can't honestly say that it felt any better to use this product and for a 10 sachet pack the difference in price is quite significant.
I did feel better for a couple of hours after taking this drink, but no better than if I had used the cheaper lesser brand alternative, which I shall get more stocks of tomorrow.
I do feel that with medicines in particular, you do pay an unrealistically high premium for brands, whereas the savings can be considerable if you opt for a non-branded product with the same active ingredients.
I'll give this one 4 out of 5, but would suggest that the same effect can be achieved through a non-branded product of which my current favourite is Abdine stocked by Home Bargains.
I had never thought about Lemsip and trying to help you breathe Easy, but found this product in Savers when the wife was in looking for bargains. Always on the lookout for things that should be able to help with the Cold I picked a pack up. These come in the usual 10 sachet box and I paid £2.20 for this pack, which was a little bit cheaper than the usual price of such a product in the supermarkets.
You just make these up in the usual way. By boiling some Hot Water and stirring the powder into the Water. This dissolves quickly enough and you get the usual Lemon smell from this but with a bit of Menthol mixed through. This makes a bit change and doesn't smell so sour as the standard Lemsips.
The idea of these is to work the same way as the normal Lemsip which I think works good enough, but the Menthol part is meant to help clear your Airways therefore helping you Breathe. The Menthol part isn't overly strong but you can smell it and taste it slightly.
I will buy these again. Anything that helps a bit more than the standard is good for me, and after having a couple of these I felt my nose seemed a bit less bunged up. I cannot say it was all this that cleared my nose as I was using other medicine at the time but I feel this done a good job.
Lemsip at it's best, as usual.
Suffering from colds and flu can really get you down and in my opinion you can't beat a good lemsip for making you feel comforted inside. I wouldn't particularly say they knock a cold on the head but the lemon taste I find soothing.
This particular lemsip is lemsip with a kick its lemon and menthol flavour give you an extra and somewhat weird sensation when you drink it. To prepare your lemsip you need to empty your sachet which contains 4.8g of powder into a cup boil your kettle then I fill my cup up with part boiled water and some cold water from the tap and mix to make sure its not going to burn me when I drink it. Once you take a sip this one is weird you feel the warmness of the drink but if you inhale the cool menthol vapours get you as well and you can feel them clearing your nose as well and to be honest I am not sure that I like it. The recommended dose for these is 1 sachet every 4 hours for 12+ not recommended for under 12s and have no more than 4 a day.
So what's in them:
Paracetamol Ph.Eur. 650mg, Phenylephrine hydrochloride BP10mg, surcose and aspartame.
From the Home Bargains shop you can get 10 sachets in a box for £2.50 which is good when you consider you will pay around £5 in a pharmacy.
This product is good and does perk you up when you have a cold the only problem is I don't like the menthol experience and it sometimes make me feel a bit sick so for me I shall stick to the normal lemon and blackcurrant ones without the extra kick.
One of the things I have in the medicine cupboard at ALL times, is a box of Lemsip sachets. Along with Lotus Olbas tissues, I find that a nice hot Lemsip is the best way to relieve the symptoms of a nasty cold. I noticed we were running low recently, so told my husband to pick some up some more supplies from the supermarket.
I wasa bit miffed though, when he returned and I found he had spent £5 on a box of Lemsip Max Breathe Easy. The normal Lemsips usually cost less that £3 a box, so I wondered what was so great about this particular variant that warranted the extra price hike.
I didn't have to wait long to find out. A couple of weeks later, I had a scratchy throat and the beginnings of a cold. I reached in the cupboard for a sachet of Lemsip.
Lemsip Max comes in a green and red card box containing 10 sachets of powder. To use the product, you empty one sachet into a cup or mug and pour on hot water from a kettle, stirring well to make sure the powder is dissolved. Adults and children over 12 can take one sachet every 4-6 hours. The product is not for children. You must not take more than 4 sachets in 24 hours.
The first thing I noticed was a powerful menthol hit as soon as I took a sip of the hot liquid. It was a bit like drinking Olbas Oil! The powerful mentholated drink made my airways feel clearer and soothed my throat. The strong menthol taste did come as a bit of a shock, and did take some getting used to, but I found it really good to inhale the vapours as I drank. This is a medicine you can really feel working and you instantly feel "picked up" after you have finished drinking it. The menthol flavour may not be to everyone's taste, but to be honest, when you are bunged up with a cold, you are lucky if you can taste anything anyway.
The active ingredients in Lemsip Max Breathe Easy are 1000mg of Paracetomol per sachet, which relieves aches and pains and fever, and 12.2mg of Phenylephrine Hydrochloride, which is a decongestant, stopping you from feeling so "bunged up". The product also contains Vitamin C, which has been recognised to boost the immune system.
The box contains a warning not to take with any other paracetamol containing products. Pregnant women should consult a doctor before using the product.
The product is manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser, who are based in Hull, UK. They have an e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org
Personally, I don't know whether the added menthol warrants the extra cost, and when I stock up again, I will probably revert to the cheaper regular Lemsip. If you are lazy, and can't be bothered filling a seperate bowl with boiling water and Olbas Oil to inhale the steam, this product is for you, as it does two jobs in one, working as an steam inhalant and a medicinal drink.
This is a product that really works and is excellent for relieving symptoms such as sore throat and bunged up nose. I like to take one before bed to make me feel more comfortable and help me sleep easier, and first thing in the morning to get rid of that "grotty" feeling you get when you wake up with a bad cold and all the phlegm has settled at the back of your throat (sorry, hope you weren't eating!).
This is definitely more effective than taking a paracetamol tablet on its own. I award it 4 dooyoo stars for effectiveness, and minus one for the cost, which I feel is a little high.
I am a wimp when I get a cold. As soon as the sniffles, sore throat and blocked head make themselves felt, I reach for the cold remedies (ideal with a shot of scotch, but that cannot be medically recommended, especially if driving. Or working. Or functioning in any meaningful way). Whilst potions such as Night Nurse are all very well when you can tuck yourself in bed for eight or ten hours, they're not ideal when you need to go to work, or indeed, just stay conscious.
Because hot drinks do help, by their very hotness, to soothe a sore throat, one preparation I often have to hand is Lemsip. Last time I had a cold, the Lemsip that happened to be in our kitchen drawer was Lemsip Max Cold & Flu Breathe Easy. Well, this confused me. Even 'normal' Lemsip is for colds and flu, and given that all the Lemsip products have decongestant (in this case 12.2mg of Phenylephrine hydrochloride - the kind you can't make methamphetamine out of) and painkillers (1000mg of paracetamol) in them, I wondered what makes this stuff 'breathe easy'.
In addition to the medically active ingredients and a slug of Vitamin C, there is also 'menthol flavour'. This gives the already bitter tasting Lemsip a sharp tang, as if you're sucking a cough sweet. I had the lemon/menthol flavour. I don't usually mind the flavour of Lemsip (I know many people hate it) - it is artificial tasting, and bitter, due to the natural bitter taste of the medicines (which they try to cover with aspartame and saccharin), but normally, I quite like it, in a sickbed comforting kind of way. However, the addition of the menthol makes what a palatable, albeit medicinal preparation, rather disgusting. The menthol isn't strong enough to even give the illusion that the menthol is clearing your nose; it just adds a rather unpalatable after taste.
Of course, you don't tend to take cold remedies for the taste explosion or culinary delight. No, you take them to relieve your cold symptoms. I'm not really sure why I stick with Lemsip (especially if I'm not in a position to spike it with whiskey). Yes, there is a good dose of Paracetamol to kill pain and reduce fever (though I rarely get fever), however, I find ibuprofen to be a more effective painkiller. There is a decongestant in there as well, but I find Sudafed with Pseudoephedrine (the stuff you CAN apparently make methamphetamine from) far more effective to relieve my blocked nose. The warmth of the drink does soothe a sore throat, but a hot honey and lemon drink would do the same and far more cheaply (a box of 10 sachets will set you back online between £2.50 and £5.00 (Boots charge £4.84) and a box of five between £1.50 - £2.00). Nonetheless, I do find myself trotting to the shop (or schlepping, depending on how awful I feel) for a box of Lemsip every time. I bring sachets to work, boil the kettle...think about waiting for the water to cool slightly as per the instructions, but usually don't bother, empty the contents of the sachet (a fine yellow powder) into my mug, pour water over the powder, sweeten (with honey if I have it, more sweetener if I don't) and gingerly sip (and then wince in pain as it burns my mouth). It does relieve the pain of a sore throat for a couple of hours (nothing like the four to six hours it says to leave between doses), though it's not very good for unblocking my nose. I ruefully have to admit that I've been using a product for some years that I cannot, in good conscience, recommend. Weird.
Lemsip, despite being a hot drink, is a medication, and comes with all the warnings that you'd expect. The important warning is to remember that it contains a fair amount (1000 mg) of paracetamol, and so should not be taken with any other paracetamol containing preparations. This includes tablets, Night Nurse or similar or many other cold remedies - do make sure you read the label. Paracetamol can kill, and it causes damage without you noticing (at first). An overdose (even a relatively small one) can cause irreparable liver damage. You may feel fine, as the symptoms of the damage are often delayed.
There are additional warnings - you should ask advice before taking Lemsip (or any other similar medication) if you have a number of conditions, including (and I did not know this) Reynaud's (this causes your fingers and/or toes to become white, dead looking and numb in cold conditions or when the sufferer is under stress - you may guess I am speaking from experience), if you have liver or kidney disease, if you are pregnant, if you have a condition which precludes you from ingesting aspartame, or if you may be diabetic. There are also some medications which can interact with the ingredients in Lemsip - as always, read the label, and ask a health professional if you are uncertain.
Lemsip really isn't the best or most effective cold remedy around, and the 'Breathe Easy' version, which includes menthol, takes what is already (to some) an unpalatable drink and makes it truly unpleasant tasting. You would gain more relief, and probably save a fair amount of money, if you made your own hot lemon and honey drink (with perhaps a couple of cloves, and, if appropriate, a wee dram), and used single-dose medicines (i.e. a pain killer, a decongestant) when needed. I am clearly a masochist, and stupid one at that, as I do persist in buying Lemsip when I'm suffering. However, I shan't be buying the Breathe Easy version again. It's vile.
If you're really struggling to breathe with a blocked nose, then this Max strength hot drink with added menthol is the perfect fix.