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Theraflu is a brand of over-the-counter cold and flu medicines from GSK Consumer Healthcare that contain different groupings of various cold and flu symptom medications. The original version of Theraflu contained acetaminophen (paracetamol) (1000 mg), chlorpheniramine maleate (4 mg), dextromethorphan hydrobromide (30 mg), and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride (60 mg). The Canadian and Swiss version is sold as NeoCitran. A British company, Reckitt Benckiser, markets a similar product as Lemsip (Lemsip is available in a variety of flavours and strengths containing up to 1,000 mg of paracetamol, and 12.2 mg phenylephrine hydrochloride). They also sell Theraflu Warming Relief in day and nighttime varieties, which contain alcohol and acetaminophen.

Because pseudoephedrine is used in the production of methamphetamine, the original formula has been removed from production and a number of alternative formulations have been brought to market. In addition, the FDA has severely limited medications that contain over 350 mg of acetaminophen in a single dosage, due to liver toxicity. The primary difference between the old versions and the new is the substitution of phenylephrine hydrochloride for the pseudoephedrine.

Theraflu is produced in several forms and flavors, but is best known for its original powder form which is mixed with hot water and then consumed as a beverage. Other forms include "SoftGel", syrup, and strips similar to breath fresheners like Listerine PocketPaks and Meltz Super Thin Mints.


In March 2013, Novartis OTC released a statement on their website saying that they are conducting maintenance and improvements at their Lincoln, Nebraska facility, which manufactures Theraflu®, as a result of a negative FDA inspection. As a result, Theraflu® was temporarily unavailable. It is currently being sold again.[1]

Misuse of name[edit]

In 2014, several people in Pennsylvania died after overdosing on a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, two powerful narcotics that had been mislabeled (on the street) as "Theraflu."[2][3]

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