Product Type: Calpol medicinal products
Newest Review: ... colour and tells me that the cough medicine contains glycerol, I always buy medicines containing glycerol for my thickly cough as it stop... more
Calpol for Coughs
Member Name: jo1976
Date: 23/03/11, updated on 10/10/13 (107 review reads)
Advantages: New range helps parents to choose appropriate variety easily
Disadvantages: Unpleasant taste, minimal noticeable benefits
As a parent, I've got a lot of faith in the Calpol brand name so I was very interested when I discovered that a cough medicine had been introduced under the Calpol brand. This Calcough comes in two different formulations for either Tickly or Chesty coughs, with the chesty version suitable for children aged six years and over whereas the tickly variety is safe to use from three months of age.
When the range was originally introduced, the two varieties were marked according to their usage (so either Chesty or Tickly.) I've recently noticed that the packaging and products have been totally rebranded and are now differentiated according to their suitability. There is now a choice of the 'Infant Syrup', which is glycerol based, or the 'Six Plus' containing Guaifenesin. As far as I'm aware the formulation of the medicine itself remains the same but the new names are much more helpful to me as a parent. I can now tell at a glance which medicine is suitable for my children's ages without having to scrutinise the information on the box or risk the wrath of the pharmacist. (I once had a rather over vigilant pharmacist berating me for trying to purchase the chesty version for my then two year old son!)
I currently have a bottle of the original Chesty variety left in the medicine cupboard mainly because only my older son is able to use this and he tends to suffer from fewer coughs and colds than his younger brother. The other reason why this medicine has outlasted the other is because my eight year old strongly dislikes the taste and usually refuses to taste it. Unlike the fairly pleasant sweet pink syrup that I associate with the traditional Calpol, their cough medicine is a thick clear liquid with a surprisingly bitter taste - nothing at all like 'real' Calpol. Although there are attempts to disguise the bitterness with the inclusion of sorbitol as an artificial sweetener, the taste is still rather unpleasant and leaves a really strong bitter aftertaste for a long time afterwards. I can tell that my son must be feeling really poorly if he actually agrees to take this medicine!
Assuming I can convince him to take this, if needed, it is difficult to accurately pinpoint any immediate or longer term benefits. I think the initial soothing aspect of swallowing a medicine are lost slightly due to the taste and all of the fuss about that! It doesn't appear to be a particularly fast-acting medicine and is certainly not a miracle cure for a chesty cough. The packaging claims that this soothes and relieves chesty coughs but, in all honesty, I think any relief is pretty negligable and I only go through the motions of offering this medicine as a way of 'doing something' for a poorly child.
Both varieties of Calcough can be purchased from chemists for around £3.50 for 125ml. Personally, I find most brands of cough medicine for children to be fairly ineffective and this one, despite boasting the reassurance of the Calpol brand is also pretty disappointing with its benefits not really outweighing the trauma of getting kids to swallow it!
Summary: The Chesty variety is not a hit in our house