TCP is a mild antiseptic, produced and sold in the United Kingdom by Pfizer. The brand name comes from its chemical name, which is trichlorophenylmethyliodisalicyl. The liquid form of TCP is probably the most well-known brand of antiseptic in the UK, and its distinctive sweet, medicinal odour can be identified by many as the generic smell of antiseptic.
TCP is available in 100ml, 200ml and 500ml bottles as a clear yellow liquid. It is also available as a cream and as throat lozenges.
The instructions on the TCP bottle say that TCP can be used on the following conditions:
- Sore throats - Gargle a solution of TCP with 5 parts water twice a day. Do not swallow.
- Mouth ulcers - Dab undiluted three times a day.
- Cuts, grazes, bites and stings - Dilute 1 part TCP with 1 part water and apply freely. (TCP may be used undiluted in an emergency).
- Boils, spots and pimples - Dab undiluted once every four hours.
TCP can also be used as a mouthwash when diluted, and can also be used as a general disinfectant. Certain sources suggest that when diluted it can be used as a vaginal douche, although the safety of this has not been fully ascertained.
Care should be taken not to swallow large amounts of TCP as it may have an adverse effect on the kidneys. However, swallowing tiny amounts will probably be harmless. If you start to feel unwell after using TCP, see a medical practitioner immediately.
TCP Liquid's active ingredients are halogenated phenols and phenol. It also contains glycerol, concentrated phosphoric acid, E104 (quinoline yellow) and water.