MTW NHS Trust West Kent CCG

Drug Status Key

  • Preferred
  • Second Line
  • Third Line
  • Specialist Initiation
  • Hospital Only
  • Not Approved for Formulary

Cough preparations

Drug Safety Update

February 2024: Codeine linctus (codeine oral solutions): reclassification to prescription-only medicine

March 2023: Pholcodine-containing cough and cold medicines: withdrawal from UK market as a precautionary measure

 December 2014: MHRA/CHM advice - children under 18 years of age should not use codeine containing over the counter liquid medicines for cough suppression.

 December 2014: MHRA/CHM advice - children under 6 years of age should not be given over the counter cough and cold medicines containing pholcodine (also other ingredients - see link)

For persistent cough, the underlying cause should be established and addressed before prescribing cough suppressants. Where there is no identifiable cause, cough suppressants may be useful e.g. if sleep is disturbed.

Cough suppressants may cause sputum retention and this may be harmful in patients with chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis.

Codeine may be effective but it is constipating and can cause dependence. Simple linctus is a demulcent and has a soothing action.

Pholcodine and pholcodine containing products have been withdrawn from the UK market and recalled. Please see the MHRA Drug Safety Update above.

Pack Price
100 ml
200 ml £2.40
2000 ml
500 ml
Pack Price
200 ml £1.49
Pack Price
200 ml £1.78
2000 ml