666 Cold Preparation

666 Cold Preparation

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Usage conditions apply
The indications or uses for this product as provided by the manufacturer are:
Aids in relieving distress and discomforts of colds by its fourfold action -- as an analgesic, as an antipyretic, as an expectorant, and as a laxative. For relief of coughs, simple headaches and neuralgia, muscular aches, pains, and reducing fever due to colds.
Currently not on view
Object Name
otc preparation
Object Type
date made
ca 1947
Sherman Pharmacy
Monticello Drug Company
place made
United States: Florida, Jacksonville
Physical Description
cardboard (box material)
glass (bottle material)
plastic (cap material)
antipyrine, 10 grains/oz (drug active ingredients)
ammonium chloride (drug active ingredients)
magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) (drug active ingredients)
citric acid (drug active ingredients)
box: 6 5/8 in x 2 3/8 in x 1 5/8 in; 16.8275 cm x 6.0325 cm x 4.1275 cm
bottle: 6 1/4 in x 2 1/4 in x 1 1/2 in; 15.875 cm x 5.715 cm x 3.81 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Alan & Elaine Levitt
Catarrh, Cough & Cold Drugs
Pain & Neuralgia Drugs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Balm of America
Sherman Pharmacy, Sherman, New York
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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The three 6"s originated with Dr. Roberts in Monticello , Florida (26 miles east of Tallahassee) The concoction he put together became known as 666 because that was his prescription number. Fascinating company history, product also well known in Mexico and Central America , some manufactured in Mexico at one time. Iconic building with the 666 sign stood at the east end of I -10 for many years.
I became a pharmacist in 1969 and a man asked me how much was three sixes. I never heard of the cold preparation and quickly replied EIGHTEEN. Yes, I was wet behind the ears but I still get a chuckle over my ignorance of this product. I emailed my pastor about this and he has not responded. I figured it was 666 because it probably tasted like hell. Some old time remedies were better than the over prescribing of antibiotics today.
I sat here reading almost everyone’s post, saying how bad the taste was. And that’s is so true, my Mom use to cut a orange into slices for each one of us. So once we had our dose we would bite into the orange that cut the taste and it wasn’t so bad. Boy did 666 work for colds we didn’t get a colds all season and if we did the laxative ran the mucus out. Wish I had something close to 666 .I’ve been told that Buckley’s taste and works similar to 666. I couldn’t find it in the stores had to order on amazon.
I too came up on 666 cold medicine. And nothing has kept me well like it. No cold but for a day and the next it was gone. It's amazing how all the OLD GOOD medicine was taken off the shelves, an replaced with meds that don't CURE you at all. MODERN TECHNOLOGY. I'll try ordering the Buckley's too and see it it helps. I thought I was the only we called 3 6's person. Stay safe people.
As a child this medicine was worse than a spanking. This stuff tastes horrid but I would give anything right now for a bottle of the original formula
My Mother would keep a bottle of 666 around for treating colds and flu. It seemed that I was the one always having to take it- Oh my goodness that was the WORSE tasting stuff ever. One day Mom brought home a fresh bottle and it haunted me thinking that the next time I had a little sniffle I would have to down some of that stuff. So one day when Mother was at work, I dumped it out and filled the bottle with water and yellow food coloring. As luck would have it my sister got sick and actually asked for a dose of 666. Wow, was I sweating it, I just knew I was about to get a whipping. Then my sister took her dose of “666” and started writhing around and going on about how horrible it tasted. I could not contain myself I was laughing so hard- the truth came out.
Funny, my dad used to force me and my sisters to drink that terrible tasting tonic. Any symptoms of cold or refusal to eat would entice him to break out his bottle of 666. We all had our method to dispose of it. I'd act as if I'm about to drink it, pour in sink when he's not paying attention, and then act as if I had. Hated that stuff.
I actually have an unopened box of 666 tablets in my display case of other unusual drugs. It is fun when people ask about the laxative in a cold preparation. "treats both ends!"
I was playing golf with a fellow duffer and he had just bogeyed a hole for a 6. I said that makes 3 6’s for you. I said, “666”. I said I remember taking 666 laxative back in the day. I ask him did he recall the 666 laxative in an orange colored bottle. He said he had never heard of it. He ask our fellow golfers had they heard of it. I found your website online. I just emailed him this information. Thanks
This story tickled me so about filling the bottle with water and something else. I was waiting for your but whipping. Lol
This is the worse thing in the world. I think the taste of it scared the cold away.
I remember this being in our medicine cabinet as a kid. If we had a bad cold or flu we got this. Then we were put to bed under a pile of blankets to “sweat it out”. Boy did we ever! In the summer we got a dose of Turpentine for worms, castor oil for a bad attitude (mama said that was caused by needing to clean our intestines out) oh the things our parents did to us. But I cannot remember going to the doctor as a kid except for earaches and I found out when I was 29 that had the doctor just removed my tonsils.... anyways I know my mama believed in triple 6 and I think they made iron supplement also. The pharmacy companies won’t ever bring it back, too many doctors would lose money and the pharmacy companies would too.
My Gma made us take this stuff, (if we stayed all night, and who didn't want to stay with Gma?) After all, biscuits, eggs & bacon, fried chicken and potato salad & greens for dinner! Cold pop & sandwiches for lunch. I too, never remember going to a Doctor when I was a kid, I'm 72 years young.) My mama gave us cod liver oil, yuk! GOD knows why, but we never really got sick. I miss the "good ole days"!
I remember when l was growing up and my Dad would always keep 666 regular and 666 with the quinine, if we sneezed my Dad would say go and get a glass of water and 666 we had rather taken the regular and that wht we bought to him but my Dad said take this back and bring the quinine and that when the tears started flowing but that didn't stop my Dad, he would say drink it down fast and brush your teeth . It was 16 of us so it would be a line about 8 or 9 of us we really didn't get sick and to be honest l'd rather take the 666 with quinine then to take this new medicines with all of the side affects.
I’m 69 and remember my grandmother making me take it for a very bad cold or flu when I was 13. The next day I was good as new. Tasted horrible. Who ever mentioned using it with Vick’s salve was right. I wish they would bring it back!
Worked-Like-A-Charm.... Need to bring it back, it was the best thing going... You take it one night before bed, sweated it out with the addition of a good Vick’s Vapor Rub down, and felt like a champ the next day... Tasted horrible, but the after-effects were well work it... Used to put mine in the freezer to cool it down, and took it like a shot of liquor.... I wish I would have know it worked on dogs, would tried it on mine that passed.... Bring it back, or tell where some can be ordered....
I am 55 and my daddy gave me this when I was sick. I was just telling people at work about it and claimed it would probably work on the Corona Virus. It worked even though you spent a lot of time in the bathroom after taking it.
I’m 64 and I remembered in the 70’s being sick, down in the bed sick for three days, my grandma walked to the drug store to return with 666 tablets. Gave me two and best I felt. Went to work the next day. I was reserved with the name, but it is what comes out your mouth that is important.
I am 56 and how do I remember this product, I had to go on the internet to see that its in none of the pharmacy are stores, this stuff was great. Why was it pulled it worked not only for humans but dogs, that right dogs. Over twenty years ago I was told my puppy may not make it,, he had a illness called Pocmo, i maybe pronouncing this wrong, well lets just say when I took my dog to the Vet they wanted to charge me $45.00 a day to monitor him and informed he still may not make it. I sad no and would let him pass away in the comfort of my home with family. Well let me tell you, I got home thought about the 666 in my cabinet and thought why not. I mixed it with Pepto, water and placed in one of my child's bottle and squeezed it down his throat. Well got up the next day and noticed worms all on the bathroom floor that the dog passed. well let me tell you the dog lived for 14 years I knew he was well because he was now able to eat and that he did after not eating for over a week. I notified the Vet and informed him to what I had did and that the dog was back up running and eating. So this stuff works. Anytime I would hear someone tell me of there dog symptoms I would refer them to the three 666 and not to get caught up in a ridiculous vet bill for this illness. Please bring back
This medication was made with quinine. This ingredient was used to treat malaria and had horrible side effects. It was pulled from sales in the US more than 10 years ago.
Age 77 and have used 666 from early childhood. I know that 666 is better than any flu shot. I wish there was a way I could get it back on the market to help seniors like me survive the colds we are subjected to. I hope someone who can will restore it to the store for sales.
I am 84 in fairly good health. I am convinced that being forced fed this poison is a factor in my current longevity. When swallowing this toxic mixture. at age 8, my body went into shock emergency mode...except the heart other major body parts would shut down...great stuff the only other real cureall ever made by man or God.
I'm 32 and my Great-Grandma used to give this to me as well. I would LITERALLY run and hide when I saw her with this bottle.
I'm 33, I remember my dad trying to mix it into water down lemonade to make it go down easier. After chucking that up I recovered pretty quickly. I also remember getting it form an old apothecary in Gaithersburg.
Lol. I’m 60 and definitely remember that stuff and it was the only thing that ever killed our hacking coughs when we were kids. You’re so right about your body feeling the shock factor, it was real! The day we came home from church and told Mom that 666 was the sign of the devil, she just laughed at us. Needless to say...that and several other dozen excuses got us out of a dose.
I'm trying to understand why a great OTC medication has been pulled from every pharmacy shelf??? With the ridiculous cost of health care and prescriptions we need reliable medications that are also affordable. I just wish it would be returned to the shelves....also Buckleys which was snatched from shelves 15 or more years ago.
You can find Buckleys on Amazon.
I remember hallucinating after taking this medication. The name speaks for itself. Glad we survived.
What happened to 666? I have early childhood memories of our medicine cabinet 666, Father John's and Castor Oil. No memories of the doctors office! Bring it back!
I found a bottle in the kitchen cabinets. When i asked my parents became very upset about my discovery. Put it back! They screeked at a pitch that marked me for life. I had to consult other people as an adult to find put this dreaded medicine of last resort. I'm sick in bed right now. I wonder.........
This product was a staple in my home. Just before the winter got really cold, we had a “ med” day, It was a dose of 666, castor oil, or cod liver oil. You picked your poison. I always opted for the 666. It made me quiver, break out in chills, but was most effective. My mother gave us a orange wedge to kill the taste, which never worked.
As a senior in college I contracted the worst case of flu I ever had...fever, headache, muscular aches and pains, cough...you name it, I had it....everything except diarrhea....my grandmother gave me 4 tablespoons of 666....tasted like kerosine....20 minutes later it hit me like a runaway semi...vomited and defecated for the next 12 hours...the cure almost killed me....but I was back to normal the next day....great stuff if it doesn’t kill you...!!!
Back in the 70s when people WERE DYING from Swine flu, Our mother used 666s to treat my baby sister for 2 weeks. She was down hard, but that tonic took care of business!
Back in the late 70 I contracted legionaire disease I took one dose of 666 flu med with quinine was over the counter back then all better the next day
Bring it Back!!!! Please, this product works. Nasty but works.
I agree with the above comment, but I'd go one step further to say it was made by satan, for satan; but the stuff worked. My mom and dad used to give it to my brother and I when we were kids also. It worked when nothing else would. That, along with raw onions wrapped in a handkerchief placed around our foreheads for fever, and Vicks Vapor rub on our chest and throats. We smelled like a cross between a medicine chest and a sub shop! LOL I can't find it anywhere in Baltimore, or online. These new products on the market just don't work as good as those three sixes.
Why the name 666?
Jeanette I found the history of even the building where it was made. https://www.jacksonville.com/news/metro/call-box/2018-01-26/call-box-666-building-was-iconic-landmark#:~:text=666.,t%20hurt%20its%20recognition%20factor. A 1979 Jacksonville Journal story said Roberts chose it as the identifying name and began marketing the patent medicine for relief of malaria. As people stopped taking it for malaria, they began taking it for colds and fever. It took off, and the name didn't hurt its recognition factor.
Why can't I find 666 cold preparation. It worked wonders for a cold.
This stuff is a miracle drug. My grandmother used to give it to us as children. It tastes like dish soap, but is very effective for all sorts of ailments.
You can probably find some out in small cornerstores in the country. I live in SC, and where my parents are from (small country town) , I am still able to purchase it. Heard it used to taste horrible, but it tastes great these days.
Reading my grandfather's journal from 1921 where in he stated that he purchased 666 medication from a pharmacy in South Carolina for severe headaches since no doctor was available to see him.
666 must have been made by satan himself. My parents gave this to my Brother and I when we had colds. It is the worse thing I have ever tasted. It was a very popular cold remedy. I just read it also had a laxative effect. It's a wonder were survived childhood back then..

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