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Germolene is a brand name used on a range of antiseptic products produced by the Bayer company, which in 1999[1] bought the brand from the then–Smithkline Beecham. It is manufactured for Bayer UK by the Devon-based Wrafton Laboratories[2] division of US over-the counter and supermarket own-label preparation producer Perrigo.[3]

Originally a thick antiseptic ointment with a distinctive pink colour and scented with oil of wintergreen, Germolene also reformulated as a cream, both ointment (pink) and cream (white) being sold and the brand name is used on a range of over-the-counter first aid preparations, most of which contain antiseptic. There is an associated range of products, specifically for the treatment of haemorrhoids. The thick pink Germolene ointment was confirmed by Bayer as no longer being available to the UK public in July 2014.[4][dubious ] As of 2015 it is only available with a doctor's prescription.

Germolene was invented by cough mixture tycoon Sir William Henry Veno, who in 1925, fearing he had cancer of the lip, sold his Veno Drug Company to the Beechams Company.[5]

Active ingredients: Phenol 1.2%, (otherwise known as carbolic acid, this has antiseptic, locally anaesthetic and antipruritic properties), and chlorhexidine digluconate 0.25%—but the Germoloids preparations for haemorrhoids include zinc oxide and the anaesthetic lidocaine hydrochloride.[6]


  1. ^ "Bayer Career UK and Ireland". 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
  2. ^ Who makes Germolene Antiseptic Cream?, Bayer UK, March 2001. Accessed: 27 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Perrigo UK History", Perrigo UK, Undated Archived 2014-06-05 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed: 27 January 2010.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Sir William Veno, Inventor of Veno's Cough Syrup & Germolene", Manchester UK, Moss Graphics, Manchester, Undated. Accessed: 23 January, 2010.
  6. ^ "Active Ingredients", Germoloids website, Bayer UK, Newbury, Berkshire, UK, Undated. Accessed: 23 January 2010.