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Tesco Max cold & flu sachets recalled

Labelling error incorrectly says the product is suitable for over-12s

Tesco Max cold & flu sachets recalled

The medicines regulator (MHRA) has issued a recall for thousands of packs of Tesco cold & flu sachets which wrongly state they are suitable for children.

The dosage advice on Tesco Max All-in-One lemon sachets – which contain paracetamol, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine – states that children aged 12 years and over can take it, but this medicine is actually only suitable for people aged 16 and over.

Approximately 78,000 packs from three batches are being recalled, and existing products have been removed from the supermarket shelves while the labelling is updated.

So far, there is no indication that the recalled medicine has caused any harm.

MHRA chief safety Officer, Dr Alison Cave, said: ‘we would like to reassure patients and parents that if you or someone under the age of 16 have used these sachets and have suffered no ill effects, there is no cause for concern.

‘If you have questions, please speak to your healthcare professional and report any adverse reactions via the Yellow Card scheme.’


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Which Tesco cold & flu medicine is being recalled?

The batches being recalled are:

  • 9MW0145, expiry date Nov 2022, first distributed 16 Mar 2020
  • 0CW0054, expiry date Jan 2023, first distributed 7 April 2020
  • 0FW0133, expiry date May 2023, first distributed 12 May 2021

The pack should look like the image above, although the name may be slightly different (the recall notice refers to it as Max All-in-One Chesty Cough and Cold, but shows the image above).

People who have this product should check the batch number on the outer carton and individual sachets. Anyone with a product from one of these batches should stop using the medicine and return it to Tesco for a refund.

It doesn’t affect similar products sold elsewhere (many medicines are rebadged for different brands but share the same core product – identified by an identical product licence number on the packaging (PL 12063/0104) – see our guide to medicine pricing for more), only the  Tesco Max All-In-One Lemon Sachets.

See the full Tesco cold sachet recall notice here.


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What to do if your child has taken Tesco Max cold sachets

Woman taking child's temperature

The sachets each contain paracetamol (for pain relief), guaifenesin (an expectorant) and phenylephrine (a decongestant).

The sachets contain 1,000mg of paracetamol, and the pack says that children aged 12 and over can have four sachets in a 24-hour period.

The NHS advice on paracetamol for children says that children aged 12 to 16 should only take 750mg doses up to four times in a 24-hour period. So, taking the maximum stated dose of these sachets could mean children aged 12 to 16 take 1,000mg more paracetamol in a 24 hour period than is advised.

If your child has had this amount from these sachets, don’t panic – but monitor them for side effects like nausea and vomiting, and call 111 if you’re concerned about symptoms.

The NHS says that if you give your child one extra dose (750mg) of paracetamol by mistake, wait at least 24 hours before giving them any more.

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