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Beechams Cold and Flu Medicines

Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-AdamReviewed on 30.10.2023 | 5 minutes read
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Beechams is a popular brand of over-the-counter cold and flu medicines. Beechams products relieve cold and flu symptoms such as aches and pains, headache, sore throat, fever and congestion. There are lots of different products within the Beechams range. These include Beechams Cold & Flu, Beechams Breathe Clear, Beechams Flu Plus, Beechams All in One, Beechams Max Strength All in One and Beechams Powders.

Doctor’s advice

Beechams Range Explained

Below is a comparison of the formulations, active ingredients, dosages and flavours for the different Beechams products.

Beechams Cold & Flu powder sachets

  • Active ingredients in a single dose: 600mg paracetamol, 10mg phenylephrine and 40mg vitamin C.

  • Dosage: One sachet every four hours when required up to a maximum of six sachets in 24 hours.

  • Flavours: Lemon & honey and blackcurrant.

Beechams Breathe Clear powder sachets

  • Active ingredients in a single dose: 600mg paracetamol, 10mg phenylephrine and 40mg vitamin C.

  • Dosage: One sachet every four hours when required up to a maximum of six sachets in 24 hours.

  • Flavour: Lemon & honey menthol.

Beechams Flu Plus powder sachets

  • Active ingredients in a single dose: 1g paracetamol, 10mg phenylephrine and 40mg vitamin C.

  • Dosage: One sachet every four to six hours when required up to a maximum of four sachets in 24 hours.

  • Flavour: Lemon.

Beechams Flu Plus caplets

  • Active ingredients in a single dose: 1g paracetamol, 10mg phenylephrine and 50mg caffeine.

  • Dosage: Two caplets every four to six hours when required up to a maximum of eight caplets in 24 hours.

Beechams All in One tablets

  • Active ingredients in a single dose: 500mg paracetamol, 10mg phenylephrine and 200mg guaifenesin.

  • Dosage: Two tablets every four hours when required up to a maximum of eight tablets in 24 hours.

Beechams All in One oral solution

  • Active ingredients in a single dose: 500mg paracetamol, 10mg phenylephrine and 200mg guaifenesin.

  • Dosage: 20ml every four hours when required up to a maximum of four doses in 24 hours.

Beechams Max Strength All in One capsules

  • Active ingredients in a single dose: 1g paracetamol, 12.2g phenylephrine and 200mg guaifenesin.

  • Dosage: Two capsules every four hours when required up to a maximum of eight capsules in 24 hours.

Beechams Powders

  • Active ingredients in a single dose: 600mg aspirin and 50mg caffeine.

  • Dosage: One sachet every three to four hours when required up to a maximum of six sachets in 24 hours.

Mechanism of action

Paracetamol

Paracetamol is a commonly used and well-tolerated painkiller and fever-reducing medication (anti-pyretic) that’s been around for more than 100 years. However, despite its long history of use, it’s not well understood how paracetamol works or which area of the brain it works on, but it likely stops chemical neurotransmitters from transmitting a pain message.

Phenylephrine

Phenylephrine is a decongestant that helps relieve a stuffy, blocked nose. It acts as a vasoconstrictor and works by constricting the blood vessels surrounding the nasal passages, resulting in reduced blood flow and subsequent reduction in swelling. As a result, the airways become less congested, allowing for improved breathing and relief from associated discomfort.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is included in some Beechams products because it may help reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms.

Caffeine

While primarily known as a stimulant, caffeine is thought to act as an adjuvant and enhance the pain-relieving effects of paracetamol and aspirin. How much difference this makes is up for scientific debate, although many people swear by the difference they feel it makes.

Guaifenesin

Guaifenesin is included in some Beechams products because it helps relieve a chesty cough. A build-up of thick mucus (phlegm) in your airways can be one of the causes of a chesty cough. Your respiratory system produces mucus every day that helps protect and lubricate your airways. However, during viral infections like colds and flu, your respiratory system can produce too much mucus, leading to an annoying productive cough. Guaifenesin is an expectorant, and it is thought to work by thinning and loosening the mucus in your chest and throat by increasing the amount of fluid produced in your airways. This makes it easier to cough any mucus up. (16)

Aspirin

Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) from the same family as ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin’s anti-inflammatory effect works by blocking the body’s production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which are released in response to illness or injury. Prostaglandins cause pain and inflammation to alert the body that it is unwell. By stopping prostaglandin production, the medication can help stop pain, inflammation and fever.

Pharmacist recommended products

Who are Beechams products for?

All the Beechams products mentioned in this article are only suitable for adults and children aged 16 and above, except Beechams All in One tablets, which are suitable for adults and children aged 12 and above.

Which Beechams product should I use?

Which Beechams product you should choose depends on your symptoms, personal preferences and medical history. If your cold or flu symptoms are accompanied by a chesty cough, a Beechams product containing guaifenesin would be the most appropriate option. If you have a sore throat or a dry or tickly cough, then using either Beechams Cold & Flu powder sachets, Beechams Breathe Clear powder sachets, or Beechams Flu Plus powder sachets may be a good option because they should all be dissolved in water and taken as a hot drink which can help soothe your throat.   

Beechams Powders is the only Beechams product that doesn’t contain a decongestant. Therefore, if you have a stuffy blocked nose, using a different Beechams product would be preferable. It is also the only Beechams product that contains aspirin. Paracetamol is generally preferred to aspirin as a painkiller because it is better tolerated and has a more favourable side effect profile.  

If you have any medical conditions or take any medications, it is best to speak to a healthcare professional before taking any Beechams product to ensure it is safe for you to take.  

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Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed on 30.10.2023
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