People suffering with sniffles and sore throats have had to do without a popular cold remedy in Cape Breton.

The self–described awful tasting Buckley’s Mixture with a strong Nova Scotia connection has been noticeably absent from store shelves throughout the cough and cold season.

Novartis Consumer Health Inc., which manufactures some name brand cold medication including Buckley's and Neocitran, has shut down its Nebraska plant for maintenance and upgrades after health inspectors in the U.S. uncovered more than a dozen problems at the plant last fall.

The formula for Buckley's Mixture was developed 93 years ago by W.K. Buckley who grew up in Sydney.

Buckley’s unique flavour includes balsam, menthol, camphor and pine needle oil and made the company a household name.

Sydney pharmacist Hugh Toner said customers miss the product, and some won't settle for anything else.

"It's interesting because the stuff tastes terrible, everybody knows that, and they're still coming in and asking for it specifically," said Toner.

"They're on a mission because they're looking for one specific product. I've had cases where people will try something alternate but in some cases they turn around and walk out with nothing."

A spokesperson for the company that owns the Buckley's formula — Novartis — said it doesn't know when the plant that makes the mixture will reopen.

The company said it had to recall the product when it was discovered that children could remove what was intended to be a child-proof cap on its bottles.