Pastilles de Cocaine a la Tyrothricine, circa 1940

The pastilles were used in the treatment of mouth and throat ailments.
These pastilles combined cocaine with an antibiotic, and would have been used for mouth ailments like tonsillitis
Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society museum

This miniature metal tin housed a batch of pastilles that contained cocaine and tyrothricin.

The lozenges were manufactured by the 20th century French pharmaceutical company MIDY, which is now a part of Sanofi. The combination of a local anaesthetic and an antibiotic was indicated for ailments of the mouth and throat, such as tonsilitis and pharyngitis.

Tyrozets Lozenges, sold stacked in their iconic orange tubes, were adapted to replace cocaine — criminalised by the Dangerous Drugs Act (1920) — with benzocaine. The lozenges did not bypass efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance, and were discontinued in 2020 to cut down on the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, December 2021, Vol 307, No 7956;307(7956)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.109390

    Please leave a comment 

    You may also be interested in