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: THR 18397/0004 .

Boots Cold & Flu Relief Echinacea Effervescent Tablets

Information for the user

Boots Cold and Flu Relief Echinacea Effervescent Tablets

176 mg dried juice of Echinacea purpurea herb

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

This medicine is a traditional herbal medicinal product 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 10 days

What this medicine is for

This traditional herbal medicinal product contains the dried juice of Echinacea purpurea herb which has traditionally been used to relieve the symptoms of the common cold and influenza type infections. This medicine is recommended for these conditions based on traditional use only.

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 (see “What is in this medicine”) or to plants from the Asteraceae family e.g. artichokes, daisies, marigolds
  • If you have tuberculosis
  • If you have sarcoidosis (a connective tissue disease)
  • If you have an autoimmune disease (e.g. multiple sclerosis or collagenoses)
  • If you are having treatment which reduces your natural response to infection (immunosuppression)
  • If you have a condition which reduces your natural response to infection (e.g. HIV infection or AIDS)
  • If you have problems with your white blood cells (you may have been told you have leukaemia or agranulocytosis)
  • If you have had an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • If you are having any treatment for cancer
  • If you are taking ciclosporin or methotrexate (for psoriasis, rheumatism or following transplant surgery)
  • If you are prone to allergies (you have eczema, asthma or allergic skin reactions)
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Other important information

Warning: This medicine contains 392 mg of sodium per tablet. May be harmful if you are on a controlled sodium (salt) diet.

Echinacea may trigger auto-immune diseases and allergic reactions in people who are prone to them. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if there is a family history of allergic reactions.

If you take other medicines

You should not take this medicine if you are taking certain medicines (see “Do not take”).

If you are not sure that your medicine is on this list, or you are unsure about interactions with any other medicines, talk to your pharmacist. This includes medicines prescribed by your doctor and medicine you have bought for yourself.

How to take this medicine

Check the seal is not broken before first use.

If it is, do no not take the tablets.

Start taking the tablets as soon as you get cold symptoms.

Dissolve the tablet in a glass of water (200 ml) and then drink immediately.

Adults and children of 12 years and over: Take one or two once daily.

Do not give to children under 12 years.

Do not take more than the amount recommended.

Do not take this medicine for more than 10 days.

If symptoms worsen, or are accompanied by a high temperature, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

If your symptoms do not improve after 10 days talk to a pharmacist or doctor.

If you take too many tablets: Talk to a doctor.

Possible side effects

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

This medicine may trigger allergic reactions in people who are prone to them.

If you get any of these side effects, stop taking the tablets:

  • Allergic reactions such as skin rash (which can sometimes be severe and include peeling and blistering of the skin), swelling of the skin due to fluid, swelling of the facial area, neck, tongue or throat, shrinking of the airways of the lungs with obstruction (bronchospasm), asthma and life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock) - seek medical help if severe
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord which may show as drowsiness, confusion, stiff neck, speech problems along with flu-like symptoms, general deterioration
  • Painful lumps on the shins
  • Low blood platelet count and destruction of blood cells sometimes caused by antibodies (you may notice this if you have a blood test)
  • Dry eyes and mouth caused by the immune system reducing glands in the eye and mouth
  • Kidney problems

If you take this medicine for a long time (more than 8 weeks) you may get:

  • Low white blood cell count which may cause unusual bruising and an increase in the number of infections that you get (e.g. sore throats, mouth ulcers, flu-like symptoms)

If any side effect becomes severe, or you notice any side effect not listed here, please tell your pharmacist or doctor.

You can also help to make medicines safer by reporting any side effects to the Yellow Card Scheme at www.yellowcard.gov.uk. Alternately you can get a paper Yellow Card form from your GP’s surgery or pharmacy, or call Freephone 0808 100 3352 (available 10am – 2pm Monday – Friday).

How to store this medicine

Store in the original packaging.

Keep this medicine in a safe place out of the sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard.

Use by the date on the base of the carton, or 7 months after first opening. After this date return any unused product to your nearest pharmacy for safe disposal.

What is in this medicine

Each effervescent tablet contains 176 mg of dried pressed juice from fresh flowering Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench herb (20-28:1). This is equivalent to 3.5 g – 4.9 g of fresh flowering Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench herb.

As well as the active ingredient, the herbal preparation also contains mealtodextrin, precipitated silicon dioxide, citric acid monohydrate.

The tablets contain maltodextrin, ascorbic acid, sodium hydrogen carbonate, saccharin sodium, sodium cyclamate, anhydrous citric acid, citric flavour.

The tube contains 20 round, flat, ivory coloured effervescent tablets.

Who makes this medicine

Manufactured for

The Boots Company PLC

by the Traditional Herbal Registration holder

Swiss Caps GmbH
9 D-83043
Bad Aibling

Leaflet prepared January 2011

If you would like any further information about this medicine, please contact

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 Cold and Flu Relief Echinacea Effervescent Tablets

Reference number: THR 18397/0004

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