Science & Technology

How Clinical Trials Work

Prescription medications undergo rigorous rounds of testing and approval before hitting the consumer market. The Onion breaks down the steps involved in this process

Scientists Develop New Extra-Sloppy Peach

DAVIS, CA—Explaining that the latest strain of the fruit was far softer and runnier than previous varieties, agricultural scientists at the University of California, Davis announced Thursday the successful development of a new extra-sloppy peach.

SpaceX’s Plan To Colonize Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk continues to lay the groundwork to attempt the human colonization of Mars. Here’s a step-by-step guide to his plan:

The Pros And Cons Of Self-Driving Cars

With Uber’s robot cars debuting this week in Pittsburgh, many wonder whether driverless technology will improve or endanger our lives. The Onion weighs the pros and cons of self-driving cars

How Animals Go Extinct

With an estimated 40 percent of species on earth now considered endangered, many wonder how it’s possible for these animals to be wiped out. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how species go extinct

Horrible Facebook Algorithm Accident Results In Exposure To New Ideas

MENLO PARK, CA—Assuring users that the company’s entire team of engineers was working hard to make sure a glitch like this never happens again, Facebook executives confirmed during a press conference Tuesday that a horrible accident last night involving the website’s algorithm had resulted in thousands of users being exposed to new concepts.

Team Of Vatican Geneticists Successfully Clone God

VATICAN CITY—Describing the groundbreaking work as a major step forward for theological research, a team of Vatican geneticists held a press conference Tuesday at the Apostolic Palace to announce they had successfully cloned God.

Dad Shares Photo Album Through Never-Before-Seen Website

SECAUCUS, NJ—Wondering aloud how the father of three even managed to find the online image-hosting service, family members of local dad Phil Yates told reporters Monday the 57-year-old had shared a photo album with them through a never-before-seen website.

NASA Discovers Distant Planet Located Outside Funding Capabilities

WASHINGTON—Noting that the celestial body lies within the habitable zone of its parent star and could potentially harbor liquid water, NASA officials announced at a press conference Thursday they have discovered an Earth-like planet located outside their funding capabilities.

‘DSM-5’ Updated To Accommodate Man Who Is Legitimately Being Ordered To Kill By The Moon

ARLINGTON, VA—Saying they were committed to ensuring the influential reference text accurately represented all known psychological conditions, leading members of the American Psychiatric Association announced Monday they would update the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition to accommodate a man who is legitimately being ordered by the moon to kill those around him.

NASA Launches First Cordless Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL—In what experts are calling a breakthrough achievement that is poised to revolutionize American space exploration and telecommunications, NASA announced Friday it has successfully launched its first cordless satellite into orbit.

What Is Pokémon Go?

Since its debut last Thursday, the augmented-reality smartphone app Pokémon Go has been downloaded millions of times and has grown publisher Nintendo’s stock by 25 percent. The Onion answers some common questions about the game and its unprecedented success.

Factory Robot Working On Some Of Its Own Designs After Hours

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—Saying it had been mulling over the “fun little side project” for a while, an Electroimpact Quadbot reportedly put in some extra work after hours at the Boeing assembly plant Wednesday to try out a few of its own original designs.

Books Vs. E-Readers

Though e-readers have increasingly supplanted books in the digital age, many bibliophiles defend the importance of physical texts. Here is a side-by-side comparison of physical books and e-books
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Pfizer Releases Vintage Cask-Aged Robitussin

Pfizer officials say the new up-market blend has a sophisticated flavor profile of cherry, codeine, pseudoephedrine, and hints of citrus.
Pfizer officials say the new up-market blend has a sophisticated flavor profile of cherry, codeine, pseudoephedrine, and hints of citrus.

GROTON, CT—Touting the new offering’s full-bodied flavor and bold, fruit-forward bouquet, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer unveiled a vintage cask-aged variety of its popular cold medicine Robitussin on Friday.

Labeled as Robitussin Reserve, the high-end over-the-counter cough remedy is reportedly being marketed toward a more affluent segment of consumers with acute upper respiratory symptoms. Company officials confirmed the select Cough & Cold blend has been prepared in a limited run of 100 barrels and retails for $39.95 a bottle.

“This is an upscale product for the cold and flu sufferer with a discerning palate,” said Pfizer spokesman Mark Dumont, who went on to describe Robitussin Reserve as a premium version of the classic medication, one that effectively relieves the toughest chest congestion with “a delicate smoothness and complex aromatics.” “This fine vintage provides multi-symptom relief while satisfying the tastes of even the most refined connoisseur. It is well-balanced, elegant, and loosens phlegm and mucus with minimal drowsiness.”

“You’re going to want to save this Robitussin for a very special cold,” Dumont continued. “We recommend pairing it with soup, saltines, and plenty of fluids.”

According to company sources, the superior-blend DXM-based cough suppressant is produced exclusively in the East Brunswick region of New Jersey—an area long known for its world-class medications—where master manufacturers on the sprawling Pfizer grounds are said to hand-select only “the finest available” industrial-grade pharmaceutical ingredients.

Though officials would not release the details of their proprietary maturation process, they confirmed that each batch is aged in French oak casks and stored at cool temperatures in the manufacturing plant’s basement cellar, a technique thought to enrich the dextromethorphan hydrobromide’s taste profile before bottling.

With its intense ruby color and syrupy-thick mouthfeel, the new maximum-strength vintage is said to be redolent of mixed berries and eucalyptus, with strong notes of cherry, an assertive nose of honey-lemon, and a lingering medicinal finish. Pfizer representatives stated that a P.M. varietal is in the works for next year’s bottling.

“Robitussin Reserve is our most exciting release this flu season,” said Pfizer pharmacologist Anne Tomlinson, who recommended removing the cap and allowing the liquid to aerate for 30 minutes prior to consumption in order to properly activate the decongestants. “But you may not want to uncap it right away. This is a bottle many will choose to age longer in their medicine cabinets, perhaps saving it for the wedding day of a son or daughter with a bad case of bronchitis.”

Packaged in a dark green bottle that prevents damaging sunlight from breaking down the desirable allergy-blocking properties of its antihistamines, the vintage Robitussin comes with a stemmed plastic dosing cup in which Tomlinson encouraged tasters to swirl the medication in order to release its characteristic aroma.

She added that examining “the legs” of the cough syrup could reveal a lot about the drug’s binding and thickening agents, as well as showcase its brilliant FD&C Red No. 40 dye content.

“My wife and I were celebrating our anniversary last night while fighting off nagging colds, so we decided to try Robitussin Reserve,” said Gary Hutchinson of Darien, CT, who picked up a bottle of the top-shelf vintage at a nearby Rite Aid. “We cracked it open, said a toast, and then really savored it. It definitely has much more depth and complexity than the cheaper bottles I used to buy. And it really took the edge off my cold.”

“It’s pretty strong, though,” he added. “I had a bit too much and passed right out.”


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