How Do Cough Drops Work?

How Do Cough Drops Work

Almost everyone uses cough drops at least once in their lifetime. But do you know “How do cough drops work?” or else “Do cough drops treat a cough?”. Let’s check it out.

A long time ago, cough drops made of honey flavored citrus, herbs, and other spices were widely used by the Egyptians as they know this candy shaped drop could ease a cough and pleased your throat.

How Do Cough Drops Work

However, the receipt as well as the recipe to make the cough drop could not be spread easily to other countries at that time which led to the born of cough drop which contains an amount of morphine and heroin because they realized that two ingredients were able to suppress coughing at the brain. As a result, cough drops containing heroin and morphine were not concerned as the risk of opioid dependence.

So are you curious about “how are exactly cough drops made of?” and “how do cough drops work?”. If the answer is yes, let’s continue reading the below content and find the answer yourself.


In order to show you how do cough drops work, you had better know what are the ingredients of cough drops and see how to do cough drops work as how do cough drops ingredients combine together as a cough suppressant.

But firstly, it’s initially for you to know that we do not use suppressant if have nothing. A cough is just a symptom resulting from various causes like flu, cold, and irritated throat.

Therefore, cough happens whenever there are unfavorable terms for throat and cough drops are useful for alleviating the cough and easing the unpleasant feeling.

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What are the common ingredients of cough drop?

Usually, there are two main parts of cough drop which include sugar shells and main ingredients such as anti-inflammatory agents, local anesthetics.

Why do cough drops need sugar-based crystal? What is the important role of sugar coat in “how do cough drops work?”

The only reason for the existence of sugar base is a hard and adequate coat. This coat allows chemical compounds which are known as other local anesthetics or pain relief, and antitussive agents to show their effects.

common ingredients of cough drop

Honey is a common and ideal component for a cough drop as it is not only used as a sugar coat but also a number of anti-inflammatory agents. The honey cough drop is an excellent choice for a cough caused by flu.

Moreover, corn syrup and pure sugar are also favorite while being chosen for cough drop base. But the fact is not all cough drop contains sugar because of the risk of tooth decay and blood sugar concentration. So the human has upgraded cough drop into sugar-free cough drop which also has similar sugar base but does not include any polysaccharides in the cough drop.

Sugar base crystal is necessary for “how do cough drops work?” but it is not all. So let’s move to the next ingredients of cough drops and see how do cough drops work.


Dextromethorphan is the common ingredient of cough suppressant products like syrup or cough drops.

And as a result, cough drop containing dextromethorphan can be used to ease a cough but not for all kind of a cough.

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When you realize that you have a productive cough, do not use cough drop with dextromethorphan as it will alleviate the cough reflex and make phlegm stuck in your throat leading to a more severe condition.


This local anesthetic has been utilized in pain relief products and cough drops, also. A sore throat, mouth ulcer and cold sore accompanying with a cough can be treated benzocaine in the cough drop.

However, not everyone is able to use this over-the-counter medication. Stop using cough drop when you feel nausea and vomiting because you might have allergy with benzocaine.


Cooling and refreshing are the common feelings after using products containing menthol. This chemical compound from corn mint and peppermint is also useful for irritated sore throat which leads to the use of menthol in cough drops.

Cough drop containing menthol is good. But in contrast, you can get menthol overdose if continuing using cough drops with menthol in a long time to ease a cough.

Furthermore, consider using menthol in cough drop when you have a cough with mucus, or in case you are pregnant and even breastfeed your kids.

How do cough drops work?

Of course, you can imagine how do cough drops work after reading the ingredient content of cough drop.

But in order to make it clear to you, let’s read the main part of the article and see how exactly do cough drops work.

As mentioned before, every cough drop needs sugar crystal or even the fake sugar crystal. The main mission of this ingredient is to provide a convenient environment for other active ingredients to ease a cough.

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Also, this sugar crystal increases the interest, actually the favoring for the users to hold cough drop. Cause I’m sure not everyone wants to taste pure benzocaine or menthol.

One more reason for sugar coat is to provide an adequate size and shape for use. Because you can only ingest a little amount of active ingredient at one time.

When you hold cough drops in your mouth, sugar coat “melts” like candy and brings the active chemical compounds like benzocaine, menthol, and dextromethorphan down the mouth and enter the throat- the affected area leading to a cough.

That’s when cough drop shows its effect on your throat and decrease a cough- an uncomfortable reflex that no one wants to suffer from.

But remember that there are some specific circumstances which can affect the cough drop work, include:

Do not eat or drink while holding cough drop and even immediately after using cough drops. Since the active ingredient can go away with the food and fluid and make you use more cough drops to ease a cough, again.

A sugar-free cough drop is effective not only for the people who are afraid of tooth decay that for people who have higher blood glucose. So consider the contents of cough drop before using it.


After reading How do cough drops work, we hope that you are able to choose the appropriate cough drop brand, as well as suitable cough drop ingredients for your condition.


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