Monday, 9 May 2011

Strepsil Emergency!

Spectacular dumbing down from Reckitt Benckiser?
Since 2010 they've been the biggest selling product to help with sore throats on the planet. That's a pretty impressive success story for Nottingham-based pharmaceutical company Reckitt Benckiser.

The've been with us in one form or another since 1958, soothing our inflamed gullets with their unique trademark brand of amylmetacresol and 2,4-dichlorobenzyl alcohol. Mine came diabetically-friendly sugar-free. Strawberry flavoured, or at least fruity enough to disguise their basic medicinal twang!

Today, though, for some reason, I read the blurb on the inner instruction sheet which normally finds its way into the recycling bag before being perused in any detail.

As I sucked sorely on my first pink lozenge, my eye fell on the instructions for taking them, should such directives be required by anybody with fingers, a mouth and a brain suitably attached.

How to take Strepsils Strawberry Sugar-free lozenges:

1. Remove one lozenge from the foil blister packaging.

2.Replace the foil blister back into the cardboard carton.

3.Place lozenge into the mouth allowing it to dissolve slowly. 

 I freely confess, I had indeed popped one into my mouth absent-mindedly before reading these oh-so-essential instructions telling me I needed to perform No 2 before No 3! I had jumped the gun! Would the package now self-destruct? Would I?

Seriously though. What are people thinking these days? Do we need to be told how to wash our hands and wipe our noses once we are competent enough to flush the loo or be giddy in charge of an electric toothbrush? 

The leaflet circumspectly advised its readership to:

'Read all of this leaflet carefully because it contains important information for you'

Yes, there's the odd pearl of wisdom there, but these are throat lozenges, for crying out loud! 

'If you take more of this product than you should
You may experience stomach discomfort
Do not take any more of this product and consult your doctor or pharmacist.'

Stomach discomfort? It'll only be the laxative effect of the maltitol, just like you find if you binge on some sugar-free sweets and candies! It's hardly a flipping overdose, is it? Consult your doctor? Have you tried making an appointment with your GP, particularly a non-urgent one? In two and half week's time or whatever the local appointment waiting time is, might you not discover you have, in fact, survived the pernicious effects of overdosing on said throat pastilles?


Now I really DO need a lie down!

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