Are Cough Drops Good for Coughs?


Relief. When your throat is scratchy and you’re coughing every minute, relief is all you want. Even if it were for just an hour. If you’ve tried just about every remedy to getting rid of your cold, maybe a candy-like lozenge may be that one thing that’ll help you get relief.

Cough drops are medicated lozenges that look like candies. They are meant to ease sore throat pain and even prevent excessive coughing.

How Do Cough Drops Work?

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

A cough drop and a throat lozenge may have different ingredients, but they work in a similar way.

Cough drops dissolve when you suck on them. Medicine is then released, actively soothing the throat and fighting other symptoms of a cold, which will depend on the stage of your condition. Sucking on a cough drop also helps produce more saliva, which aids in suppressing the cough. More saliva means the throat will not be as dry for the coughing.

But not all cough drops work for every type of saliva.

What’s the Difference Between a Cough Drop and a Throat Drop?

Photo by Taken on Pixabay

Even some of the best cough drops may not give you relief from symptoms of a cold if it’s not the right kind of cough.

Coughs that are due to bacterial infection may not be quelled by candy-like medication. Cough drops, like Halls cough drops, contain an oral anesthetic, cough suppressant and menthol as active ingredients.

Whereas throat lozenges or throat drops contain ingredients that are antibacterial. These active ingredients include benzocaine, phenol and dextromethorphan. Throat drops also have menthol as an active ingredient.

Although they both work in the same way and each contains menthol, they will not work for all types of coughs.

Another type of cough remedy must be considered because it also works for a particular type of cough. When you talk about a “wet” cough, you’re referring to a cough with mucus. A cough drop or throat drop may not work for this type of cough. What you need is medication that bears the name “expectorant.”

Expectorants can come in liquid or tablet form, but they all reduce the thickness of mucus, loosening them up and clearing them out of your throat. Expectorants help you cough up phlegm, relieving you of this cold symptom.

How Often Should You Take Cough Drops?

Like any medication, cough drops are not to be taken without caution. You may pop and suck on them continually because they look like candy, and some may even taste nice. But like eating too much candy, taking too much cough drops will be bad for you.

What happens if you ate too many cough drops?

  1. Drowsiness
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Stomachache
  5. Headache

Menthol overdose could also happen, but it would take thousands of cough drops. A lethal dose is 1,000 mg (1 gram) per kilogram of body weight. Aside from menthol poisoning, exacerbating diabetes is another potential risk from taking too many cough drops. Most brands contain too much sugar, which is why diabetics with symptoms of a cold must choose sugar free cough drops.

Even then, don’t eat too many of these sugar-free varieties because a substitute called sorbitol will have side effects with overconsumption. These side effects may include diarrhea, flatulence and abdominal pain.

How often should you take cough drops? Only in the short-term and every couple of hours at 1 milligram to 15 milligrams for adults, which is usual for most cough drop brands.

What are the Best Cough Drops?


Halls Cough Drops

Cough drops from Halls are formulated for relief and to soothe, in different flavors. They come in honey lemon, cherry, strawberry and menthol lyptus, among others.


Zarbee’s Naturals Cough Soothers

Made of 96 to 99 percent natural honey, Zarbee’s cough drops are free of processed sugars and artificial colors and flavors. You can choose from menthol, natural citrus and cherry flavors.


Luden’s Throat Drops

If you want more flavors to choose from, Luden’s throat drops offer plenty: from watermelon and wild berry to honey licorice and apple.

ricola cough drops lemon echinacea

Ricola Cough Drops

Ricola cough drops use natural honey to help suppress coughing. Other varieties from this recognized brand also uses special ingredients like echinacea, which bolsters the immune system. Ricola also has other flavors, like cherry honey, lemon and mint. and icy menthol.

mucinex cough drops honey lemon

Mucinex InstaSoothe Cough Drops

Mucinex  cough drops line is formulated for different symptoms of the cold. If you’re suffering from an itchy throat and coughing, this InstaSoothe 3-in-1 cough drop delivers pain relief as well as suppresses cough. Its active ingredient is Hexylresorcinol. It helps relieve occasional irritation and pain from sore throat, sore mouth and canker sores.

Is it Safe to Take Cough Drops While Pregnant?

Cough drops are sold over the counter, not requiring a prescription. But before taking any one from any brand, ask your doctor if the active ingredients are going to have an effect on your pregnancy. Most will be safe, but it’s always better to consult your obstetrician.

Your doctor may encourage you to try other natural remedies:

  • Breathe in steam
  • Hydrate with water
  • Gargle saltwater
  • Drink tea with honey

If you’re coughing persistently for several days and have a fever, consult with your doctor.

Cough drops help relieve the effects of coughing and soothe a dry throat. These medicated, candy-like remedies are reliable, but don’t take too much. They’re made for short-term relief, not intended for everyday consumption over a long period.

Share this post:
Scroll to Top