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‘Cocaine Toothache Drops and 12 Other Shocking Vintage Childrens Medicine Ads

Cocaine drops

For the tooth now, for the nose later?

Will morphine cure a child’s common cough and cold? Well, yes, probably, but it’s not something you’d ever give them (unless you were looking for an out-of-the-box way to grab the attention of Child Protective Services, that is).

Morphine, meth, weed, cocaine and heroin are just a few of the medications used back in the day to cure things like sore throats and tooth aches. Yowza!

Once you’ve picked your jaw up from off the floor, take a look how children of yore were cured of what ailed them (and even what didn’t ail them):


  • Asthma Cigarettes 1 of 13
    Asthma Cigarettes
    "Not recommended for children under 6."
    Because that would be unhealthy.
  • Ayers Cherry Pectoral 2 of 13
    Ayers Cherry Pectoral
    This cure for colds, coughs and "all diseases of the throat and lungs" contained either morphine or heroin.
  • Kimball White Pine and Tar Cough Syrup 3 of 13
    Kimball White Pine and Tar Cough Syrup
    Chloroform: That stuff in which rags get soaked in movies and then shoved in someone's mouth in order to knock them out before they're kidnapped or killed.
    Oh, also that stuff once used on kids to help suppress coughs.
  • Lloyd Cocaine Toothache Drops 4 of 13
    Lloyd Cocaine Toothache Drops
    Cocaine was sold over-the-counter until 1914, which was otherwise known as the good old days.
  • Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup 5 of 13
    Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup
    With 65 mg of morphine per fluid ounce, it'll cure the aches associated with teething, and life in general.
  • Cosadein 6 of 13
    Cosadein
    Contains codeine, chloroform and cannabis.
    Right on, bro.
  • Eli Lilly Amphedroxyn 7 of 13
    Eli Lilly Amphedroxyn
    "Amphedroxyn [or, meth, as we know it today] is often preferable to other forms of amphetamine."
    Photo credit: BonkersInstitute.org
  • Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup 8 of 13
    Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup
    Morhpine: Promotes early reading skills.
    Because everything seems easier with narcotics.
  • Nembutal Suppositories 9 of 13
    Nembutal Suppositories
    "When little patients balk at scary, disquieting examinations . . . When they need prompt sedation (and the oral route isn't feasible) . . . try Nembutal sodium suppositories . . . There is little tendency toward morning-after hangover . . . The margin of safety is wide."
  • And a little something for Mom 10 of 13
    And a little something for Mom
    "Since I have been taking Nervine, nothing bothers me."
  • Anheuser-Bush’s Malt-Nutrine 11 of 13
    Anheuser-Bush's Malt-Nutrine
    Cheers!
  • Pabst Extract 12 of 13
    Pabst Extract
    "The best tonic prepares the way for happy, healthy motherhood."
  • Let’s not forget Dad, too 13 of 13
    Let's not forget Dad, too
    "Now the physician has one less tired, sleepy and apprehensive patient to contend with."
    Thanks, quaaludes!

Photo credits & source: PharmacyTechs.net

More from Meredith on Strollerderby:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Toddler Times, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

MORE ON BABBLE:

7 things you should never say to a child
25 vintage ads that scream SEXISM
The most age-inappropriate toddler gear (What were they thinking?!)
8 things I never thought I’d say… until I became a mom
25 things every kid should experience

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