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TCP antiseptic liquid

Written by Healthwords's team of doctors and pharmacists based in UK | Updated: 01.02.2023 | 2 min read

TCP is an antiseptic used in the treatment of cuts, grazes, bites, stings, spots, sore throats, and mouth ulcers. It has antiseptic and pain-relieving properties and has been the long-standing brand associated with antiseptic, with a history of use that dates back to 1918. The ingredients in it have changed over time, and the TCP available today contains phenols, which have been in use since its reformulation in the 1950s. It has a distinct smell that many people associate with surgical disinfectant.

How does it work?

TCP contains the active ingredients phenols and halogenated phenols. These have antimicrobial properties against a wide range of germs that can cause infection. Phenols also have pain relieving and numbing properties which can be useful for treating sore throats.

How do I use it?

Follow the instructions on the back of the bottle for accurate dosing and dilution. TCP should be diluted with water before using to treat cuts, grazes, bites, and stings, then applied gently with a clean cloth. It should also be diluted before gargling to treat a sore throat. When TCP is gargled, it should not be swallowed.

It can be dabbed on directly, without diluting with water, to treat mouth ulcers and spots.

Should anybody not use it?

It should not be used in young children to treat a sore throat, as young children may be unable to gargle safely without accidentally ingesting it. TCP should be avoided if you have a sensitivity to any of the ingredients listed. It should be avoided in allergic skin conditions such as an allergic rash. You should not use TCP to treat mouth ulcers if they have been present for longer than 14 days. In this case, you should seek the advice of your doctor first.

What do I do if I accidentally swallow TCP

If you accidentally swallow 30ml of TCP or more, you should drink 0.5 to 1 litre of water immediately to dilute it. If any discomfort persists, seek medical attention. Ingestion of TCP is unlikely to cause any serious side effects.

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