Can you eat cough drops like candy?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat cough drops like candy?”. Including this, we will also discuss cough drops, their composition, and how we can use them. We will also discuss if they are good to be used as a candy or if they have side effects.

Can you eat cough drops as candy?

Yes, one can use cough drops like candy, in fact, cough drops are not considered as medicine rather candy, so there is no harm in taking cough drops like candy.

Cough drops used as candy are not harmful unless they are taken in large amounts which can make a person overdose on menthol and sugar. As they are coated with sugar, they are not good for diabetic people as well.

Additionally, cough drops are not that healthy, so a person should not take them in large amounts. Because of the less amount of menthol, cough drops can be sold as candy and are available over the counter.

Cough drops

When a person is sick or is having a sore throat or any throat-related comorbidity then he eats cough drops. Cough drops are the first thing that is required by the person who is having any problem in their throat. 

The reason for being the first thing needed by the sick person is that it gives relief to the person and is available over the counter. Also, they are effective and tasty due to which the throat experiences a sweet relief.

A cough drop is also known as throat lozenge, troche or cough sweet. It is a small-sized medicated tablet but not considered as medicine itself. 

A cough drop is developed in such a way that it is dissolved in the mouth slowly. The dissolving of the tablet in the mouth helps in stopping the cough for a small time. It also plays its role in lubrication of the irritated tissues due to sore throat or any problem caused by the common cold or influenza.

The cough drops also soothe the irritated tissues and give them relief.


The history of throat candies to relieve the throat is too old and it started from 1000 BC from Egypt during the era to Egypt’s Twentieth Dynasty. At that time, these cough drop candies were prepared from honey which was flavoured with citrus, herbs and spices. 

Morphine was discovered in the 19th century, which led to the theory that it suppresses cold by blocking it in the brain. While in the same century in 1852, the Smith brothers advertised the first cough drops and Luden’s in 1879 developed them


The major component of cough drops is menthol which gives a soothing effect to the person. Peppermint oil or spearmint oil can also be present in cough drops. Moreover, cough drops with honey are also available in the market. 

Along with menthol, some other ingredients are also present in cough drops so that it gives them flavour along with sugar. These flavoured components of cough drops include:

  • Cherry
  • Honey-lemon 
  • Honey lemon chamomile
  • Ice blue peppermint
  • Intense cool
  • Menthol lyptus
  • Mountain methanol

Menthol is the component of peppermint oil which can give a cooling effect to the one who is consuming it. Mainly, each cough drop contains about 1 to 15 milligrams of menthol in one drop. 

In contrast to the amount suitable for the person, the amount of menthol which is lethal is about 50 to 500 mg of menthol per kilogram of the body weight. A person has to take the amount of menthol and overdose it has to take menthol in a short span so that toxic effects can be seen.

Dosage safe for taking:

There is no standard limit of cough drops available which can be considered as a limit for the person to take. The reason for this is that different brands are manufacturing these cough drops, and the amount of menthol and other components varies for different brands. Due to this, there is no limit available for taking cough drops like candy.

It is recommended to follow the information which is available for cough drops while people with other health problems should consult their doctor.

Side effects of cough drops

If cough drops are taken in excess amounts, then there is also overdosing of menthol which can have toxic effects. The toxic effects of overdosing on menthol include:

  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Sores in mouth
  • Skin lesions with dry, yellow crust
  • Muscle weakness
  • Kidney dysfunction

For people with diabetes, it can also cause an increase in glucose levels as cough drops as candy has sugar coating.


In this article, we have answered the question “Can you eat cough drops as candy?”. We have also discussed cough drops, their history and their composition. We have also talked about the side effects of overdosing on cough drops.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.