What is a Patient Information Leaflet and why is it useful?

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from this version because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged.

Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet. The original leaflet can be viewed using the link above.

The text only version may be available in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call emc accessibility on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL 00014/0230.

Boots Night Cough Relief Oral Solution

Information for the User

Boots Night Cough Relief Oral Solution

(Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride, Pholcodine)

Read all of this leaflet carefully because it contains important information for you.

This medicine is available without prescription to treat minor conditions. However, you still need to take it carefully to get the best results from it.

  • Keep this leaflet, you may need to read it again
  • Ask your pharmacist if you need more information or advice
  • You must contact a pharmacist or doctor if your symptoms worsen or do not improve after 5 days

What this medicine is for

This medicine contains Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride and Pholcodine, which act to relieve coughs.

It can be used to relieve the symptoms of irritating dry, tickly unproductive coughs through the night and so aiding restful sleep.

Before you take this medicine

This medicine can be taken by adults and children of 12 years and over. However, some people should not take this medicine or should seek the advice of their pharmacist or doctor first.

Do not take:

  • If you are allergic to any of the ingredients
  • If you have liver problems
  • If you have difficulty breathing
  • If you have porphyria (a rare blood disease)
  • If you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (for depression) or have taken them in the last 14 days
  • If you have an intolerance to some sugars, unless your doctor tells you to (this medicine contains sucrose)
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you have ever developed a severe skin rash or skin that peels, blisters and / or sores in the mouth after taking Night Cough Relief Oral Solution or other pholcodine-containing products.

Talk to your pharmacist or doctor:

  • If you have raised pressure in the eye (glaucoma)
  • If you have severe heart or blood vessel disease
  • If you have epilepsy
  • If you have difficulty in passing urine or kidney problems
  • If you have an obstruction in your intestine
  • If you have long-term lung problems or an infection which produces lots of phlegm on the chest
  • If you are addicted to drugs or have been in the past
  • If you take other medicines
    • Water tablets (diuretics), medicines to treat high blood pressure
    • Medicines that may make you sleepy or feel drowsy such as strong painkillers or medicines for epilepsy
    • Medicines for depression or other mental health conditions
    • Medicines which may cause a dry mouth (e.g. atropine)
  • If you are on a low salt (sodium) diet (this medicine contains 41 mg of sodium per 20 ml, which may be harmful to you)
  • If you are a man with prostate problems

Other important information

  • Do not drink alcohol (wine, beer, spirits) whilst taking this medicine
  • If you develop a severe rash or any of these skin symptoms, stop taking Night Cough Relief Oral Solution and contact or see a doctor immediately. Serious skin reactions, including acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), have been reported with the use of pholcodine-containing products. AGEP is a generalized, red, scaly rash with bumps under the skin and vesicles associated with fever. Most common location: mainly located on the folds of the skin, the trunk and the upper limbs. The highest risk of serious skin reactions occurrence is especially during the first week of treatment.
  • Consult a doctor before use if you have a history of drug abuse; pholcodine is an opioid and addiction is observed with opioids as a class
  • Cases of of cross-reactivity with medicines called muscle relaxants used during anaesthesia, resulting in serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have been reported in patients who have previously taken pholcodine. If are due to undergo anaesthesia at any time (such as for surgery), please inform your anaesthetist that you have taken pholcodine in the past.

Driving and using machines: This medicine can affect your ability to drive or use machines as it may make you feel sleepy or dizzy.

  • Do not drive or use machines while taking this medicine until you are sure you are not affected
  • It is an offence to drive if this medicine affects your ability to drive
  • However, you would not be committing an offence if:
    • The medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical or dental problem and
    • You have taken it according to the instructions given by the prescriber or in the information provided with the medicine and
    • It was not affecting your ability to drive safely

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure whether it is safe for you to drive while taking this medicine.

Information about some of the ingredients: This medicine contains 9 g of sucrose per 20 ml. This should be taken into account if you have diabetes.

This medicine contains 0.8 g alcohol (ethanol) in each 20 ml dose. The amount of alcohol in 20 ml of this medicine is equivalent to 20 ml of beer or 8 ml of wine.

The amount of alcohol in this medicine is not likely to have an effect in adults and adolescents. The alcohol in this medicine may alter the effects of other medicines. Talk to you doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other medicines. If you are addicted to alcohol, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medicine.

This medicine contains 2.4 mg sodium benzoate in each 20 ml which is equivalent to 0.12 mg/ 1 ml. Sodium benzoate may increase jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) in new born babies (up to 4 weeks old).

How to take this medicine

Check the seal is not broken before first use. If it is, do not take the medicine.

Adults and children of 12 years and over: Take four 5 ml spoonfuls at bedtime only.

This medicine should be swallowed.

Do not give to children under 12 years.

Do not exceed the stated dose

If symptoms do not go away within 5 days talk to your doctor.

If you take too much: Talk to your doctor straight away.

Possible side effects

Most people will not have problems, but some may get some.

If you get any of these serious side effects, stop taking the medicine. See a doctor at once:

  • Difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, neck, tongue or throat (severe allergic reactions)
  • Generalized rash, red and scaly with bumps under the skin and vesicles associated with fever at the beginning of treatment (generalized acute exanthematous pustulosis). If you develop these symptoms stop using Night Cough Relief Oral Solution and contact or see a doctor immediately. The frequency cannot be estimated from the available data.

If you get any of the following side effects see your pharmacist or doctor.

Feeling sick, being sick, dry mouth

  • Blurred vision, constipation, difficulty passing urine
  • Drowsiness, feeling very excited, irritability, depression, nightmares
  • Skin rashes

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

How to store this medicine

Do not store above 25°C.

Keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children.

Use by the date on the end flap of the carton or on the label edge.

Active ingredients: Each 20 ml of oral solution contains Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride 50 mg, Pholcodine 15 mg. Also contains: purified water, liquid sugar (sucrose), glycerol (E422), ethanol (4.8 vol %), sodium citrate, citric acid, sodium benzoate (E211), hyetellose, quinoline yellow (E104), patent blue V (E131), flavours (grenadine, containing propylene glycol).

PL 00014/0230

Leaflet prepared May 2022

Manufactured by


for the Marketing Authorisation Holder

The Boots Company PLC

Other formats

To request a copy of this leaflet in Braille, large print or audio please call, free of charge:

0800 198 5000 (UK only)

Please be ready to give the following information:

Product Name: Boots Night Cough Relief Oral Solution

Reference number: 00014/0230

This is a service provided by the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

If you need more advice ask your pharmacist.

Artwork Reference WBA 2953 R5