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What is it about Night Nurse?

(41 Posts)

I saw a big kerfuffle in Boots this afternoon with a young lad shouting at the dispensing assistant because she didn't want to sell him Night Nurse for his mum.
The chemist came over and said "you're not getting it, end of."

When I went outside he was with this lady who was shouting at him for not getting it.
Why couldn't she get it?!

Elibean Sat 02-Oct-10 19:19:44

Maybe they are known to the chemist?? It does have various 'heavy' ingredients in, such as dextromephorphan (sp?) and alcohol. Hence its efficacy in knocking one out when needed.

If the woman is abusing the stuff, the chemist may have recognized the son? Or maybe he was too young to buy it?

lurcherlover Sat 02-Oct-10 21:51:33

They can be funny about selling you NN. It's quite hefty stuff for an OTC drug - paracetamol, antihistamine and alcohol pack a punch when taken together. A lot of people use it just to help them sleep (not that I have ever done this. Ahem) and the potential for it to be abused is there...if the son was obviously under 16 I wouldn't have thought he was legally allowed it - and a bit dodgy that she didn't just buy it herself. As Eli said, perhaps they are "known" in Boots...

Meglet Sat 02-Oct-10 21:53:39

Have you ever taken it?! It's lethal.

I take a half dose of it when I have a bad cold and it almost knocks me out, although it does seem to help me recover. I have no idea how it's legal.

bluebump Sat 02-Oct-10 21:55:52

I often buy some for a friend when we go to Spain as you can't buy it over there but I have to buy one in each of the chemists in the town as no one will sell me more than one bottle at once. I've not tried it yet.

Lougle Sat 02-Oct-10 22:02:23

It contains 18% alcohol by volume. So each 20ml dose contains 3.6ml of alcohol. The trouble is, each 20ml dose also contains 1000mg paracetamol.

So for someone with a drinking habit, a (160ml) bottle of Night Nurse would give them 28.8mls of pure alcohol, but would also give them the equivalent of 16 paracetamol tablets. Enough to kill them sad

Lougle Sat 02-Oct-10 22:03:56

I once took a single dose of Night Nurse, around 3-4 years ago, because I felt poorly. My Mum had to drive me to the doctors surgery the next morning, as my legs were too wobbly to walk, let alone drive shock

Plumm Sat 02-Oct-10 22:04:08

The things you learn on MN!

Honeydragon Sat 02-Oct-10 22:08:51

My dh gave me some once when I was proper poorly with the flu..... never again.

I was holding onto the mattress because the room was spinning that bad.

My brother worked at Boots years ago and they had to be horribly harsh with some people that they knew were abusing. sad

Meglet Sat 02-Oct-10 22:09:44

They do make it taste like shite though don't they. I have to hold my nose and knock back the dose bloody fast.

Even then I tend to make "bleaurghh" noises for the next few minutes. No chance of me taking too much of the stuff.

The lad was about 16-17 I'd think. The chemist knew him by the looks of it, I never knew it was such a major OTC drug!

moaningminniewhingesagain Sun 03-Oct-10 09:06:20

I've never taken Night Nurse, now I'm wondering what I have been missing all these yearsgrin Although I tried some sort of ?Beechams All in One flu tablets once that knocked me out.

I tend to stick to plain cheap paracetamol and a cup of tea for most minor ailments, but then I am a complete lightweight and very tipsy on one glass of wine.

HowsTheSerenity Sun 03-Oct-10 09:11:39

Thank you for the reminder. I need to start stocking up. Can't get anything like it in Australia.

And yes it is lovely stuff. I have pneumonia related asthma and it is the only thing that stops me coughing at night.

Elibean Sun 03-Oct-10 11:59:13

Personally, I find a dose of Medised very useful for horrible colds and flus (12 year old dose seems to do it!) at night. And in extreme cough situations, Benelyn is enough. Neither have alcohol in.

topsi Sun 03-Oct-10 15:00:02

I think it can be abused due to the sedative effect.

brettgirl2 Sun 03-Oct-10 18:57:58

I have only taken it twice (2 nights running) and it was a god send I had one of those colds that goes on and on and I hadn't slept properly for agesfor coughing etc. It was a god send, and I would take it again in the same circs (although not for a little sniffle, and drugs always seem to 'agree' with me lol)

I can't imagine someone would take it for the alcohol, there isn't that much in it and they would be better off with spirits, BUT it seriously knocks you out, so I suspect there is something in there that is addictive!

FallingWithStyle Sun 03-Oct-10 19:08:18

I dont think its that alcoholics are using it for the alcohol content - after all it'd be a pretty expensive way to consume a bit of alcohol.

Am I right in thinking there is a warning on it that it shouldn't be used by alcoholics? I think thats just because if you're in recovery and staying away from booze then you dont want to accidently consume something with an alcoholic content.

It's the sedative effect which is the problem and the reason it is sometimes misused. It's pretty powerful stuff for an otc medicinw.

topsi Mon 04-Oct-10 07:49:20

It is a pharmacist dispense only medicine and is on a list of medicines that can be potentially misused I think. Maybe the person had been buying alot of it.
It is not the alcohol content but the drug that is in it.
Drug adicts will even buy morphine and caolin mixture and sip the morphine off the top as it rises to the surface.

Mum72 Mon 04-Oct-10 23:43:17

I think NN is fab!

There have been times when I have been so ill all I have wanted to do is sleep and wake up when I feel better again. NN does this!

However, I have to say, its blummin strong stuff and a bit OTT for just a bad cold. Flu - is when this stuff comes into its own IMO!

Xmas 2008 I had real proper flu. I mean serious proper - drag myself across the landing for the loo and want to die at the thought of the effort of getting back to was my bed. NN my saviour - I think it helped me sleep through the hell of flu for the best part of 5 days. I mean - why so you want to be awake when you have real proper flu???

You just have to use it sensibly as per the instructions.

bandgeek Wed 06-Oct-10 20:54:02

I took NN once and my DH had to take the following day off work as I was so drowsy in the morning and couldn't function - certainly couldn't look after the DC. I always thought it was because I was a lightweight but it's good to see I'm not alone grin

Wiseoldman Mon 23-Mar-15 00:47:29

If you want a laugh ask you pharmacist for a bottle of night nurse and when they ask why you want it just say "It goes well with a nice drop of gin" and watch them panic.
But whatever you do, do not take it when you have had any alcohol or you will send yourself doolally its very strong stuff. and please read all the instructions on the leaflet to make sure it doesnt clash with any other meds you are taking.

Notrevealingmyidentity Mon 23-Mar-15 01:00:54

We used to take paracetamol then drink at uni to get more pissed shock

I've also never had any luck with the antihistamines to make you sleep. Even at double the recommended dose.

I sound like a hardened drug addict but if I want a Good nightjar sleep (say if I'm traveling ) I stick to Valium these days.

goodasitgets Mon 23-Mar-15 01:21:00

I'm convinced it doesn't do anything for a cold but just renders you unconscious grin
Brilliant stuff. Apparently (ahem) some shift workers use it occasionally

Lilymaid Mon 23-Mar-15 10:59:58

I've only been able to take half a dose - I'm surprised that you can still get it off prescription. It made me feel worse than before I took it.

swazza Mon 23-Mar-15 11:06:14

I love night nurse. It is amazing stuff if taken properly when very ill.

In my 43 years I have hadd proper Flu 4 times in my life and Night Nurse is amazing! It just knocks you out to sleep which is just the best thing to do when suffering from real proper flu. It reduces the suffering massively just because you sleep through the illness.

Its certainly not something to take reguarly or just when feeling a little under the weather. Its good knock you out stuff but really only for when you are on your knees. I don't know if its addictive but its potent and for that reason its not something I keep in the cabinet for just in case - I send out for it when its needed (on average once every 10 years in my case).

I suspect it is abused by some people and not surprisedd they wont selling it to kids or people they suspect to be abusing medicines.

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