Mucinex “Flip the Script” Campaign Shines a Light on the Deadly Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance

Updated on November 22, 2023

Every year, approximately 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur and 35,000 people1 in the US die from Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), a global health emergency caused by common misconceptions about the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating cold and flu symptoms, which over time can lead to rampant antibiotic overuse and antibiotic resistance.

comebacks from sickness with its line of over-the-counter cold and flu medications – is launching its new “Flip the Script” campaign. This multi-pronged initiative aims to educate consumers about the widespread inappropriate use of antibiotics currently plaguing the U.S. and the world at large.

As consumers struggle to navigate yet another heavy-hitting cold and flu season, the brand will partner with Urgent and Primary Care Centers to help address this issue. There’s a reason for that: 7 in 103 Urgent Care Center patients ask their doctor for an antibiotic and 45.7% of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions for Respiratory diagnoses were from Urgent Care centers2. That’s why Mucinex plans to roll out signage and educational materials at Urgent and Primary Care Centers, as well as a series of educational videos and audio PSAs online, which clearly explain why OTC products like Mucinex – not antibiotics – are still the best option for treating cold and flu symptoms. 

Antibiotic Resistance caused partly by this misuse of antibiotics is a leading cause of death worldwide4. This misuse stems largely from two common and incorrect misconceptions: that antibiotics are the best line of defense against cold and flu symptoms and that antibiotics are essential when cold and flu symptoms last longer than two or three days. 

The Mucinex “Flip the Script” campaign follows a decade-long commitment by Reckitt to shine a brighter light on the serious and increasingly pervasive issue of Antibiotic Resistance. During that time, Reckitt established a global coalition of experts (GRIP – Global Respiratory Infection partnership) from 12 countries committed to curtailing inappropriate antibiotic use in Upper Respiratory tract infections; rolled out Health care professional and consumer-facing antibiotic programs across 10 countries focused on education to prevent antibiotic misuse; and implemented an educational video campaign in clinic waiting rooms across the United States which drove down antibiotic prescriptions by 3.46%. But the fight is far from over.

“People don’t realize that antibiotic misuse and Antibiotic Resistance are a huge societal issue, and they often expect a prescription for antibiotics to help them feel better,” said Mark Pearson, Vice President, Marketing for Health Brands at Reckitt. “That’s why Mucinex conceived the ‘Flip the Script’ campaign: To raise awareness and help patients feel more confident when their doctor recommends an over-the-counter medication to fight cold and flu symptoms.”

Simply put, the common cold and influenza are both viral infections, so antibiotics provide no relief from symptoms whatsoever. Antibiotics only fight against bacterial infections. Eighty percent of the time2, antibiotics are also completely unnecessary when suffering from a respiratory tract infection. Nevertheless, these myths continue to swirl around antibiotics and become particularly pernicious during cold and flu season.

Mucinex’s partnership with Urgent and Primary Care Centers throughout the nation will focus on states that have a high index of certain AMR strains and antibiotic prescriptions per population.

How can consumers Flip the Script? Those who visit participating urgent care centers will find educational materials about antibiotic resistance, urging them to reach out to their physician when feeling unwell so that the proper treatment can be prescribed. Should the physician recommend an over-the-counter medication, they can share a “prescription” with the patient—an informative flipped brochure about antibiotics vs. OTC medication — that includes a Mucinex coupon, making it simpler to relieve your worst cold and flu symptoms at any time, day or night.

For more information on Mucinex, visit

About Reckitt
Reckitt* exists to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world. We believe that access to the highest-quality hygiene, wellness and nourishment is a right, not a privilege.

Reckitt is the company behind some of the world’s most recognizable and trusted consumer brands in hygiene, health and nutrition, including Air Wick, Calgon, Cillit Bang, Clearasil, Dettol, Durex, Enfamil, Finish, Gaviscon, Harpic, Lysol, Mortein, Mucinex, Nurofen, Nutramigen, Strepsils, Vanish, Veet, Woolite and more.

Every day, more than 30 million Reckitt products are bought globally. We always put consumers and people first, seek out new opportunities, strive for excellence in all that we do and build shared success with all our partners. We aim to do the right thing, always.

We are a diverse global team of c. 40,000 colleagues. We draw on our collective energy to meet our ambitions of purpose-led brands, a healthier planet and a fairer society.  Find out more at

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.