Can You Take Cough Drops While Pregnant?

Pregnant females often worry regarding taking OTC medicines due to fear of causing potential harm to their baby. These include medicines to treat cough or cough drops that are available in various flavors and contain diverse ingredients. Due to this reason, you should always consult your physician before consuming any sort of cough drops or cough medicine during pregnancy.

Can You Take Cough Drops During Pregnancy?

Cough drops are available OTC and you can purchase them without a prescription of your physician. These drugs are used to relieve sore throat and cough for short duration. Majority of the ingredients present in cough drops can be very likely used safely during pregnancy; however, what effects they have on pregnancy is not known fully.

Active Ingredients Present in Cough Drops

The active ingredient present in majority of the cough drops available in the market is menthol. It helps in treating a sore throat and cough by reducing irritation of throat and cooling the throat.

Whether menthol is safe during pregnancy or not is not studied extensively. Moreover, for over-the-counter drugs, ratings for pregnancy category are not available from the U.S. FDA. Hence, the effects of menthol containing cough drops during pregnancy are not known fully.

Though no reports exist of negative effects of using menthol during pregnancy, you should consult your physician before consuming menthol containing cough drops while pregnant to be on the safe side.

Inactive Ingredients Present in Cough Drops

Apart from active ingredient, natural herbs are present in certain brands of cough drops. These include:

No particular warnings regarding their use at the time of pregnancy exist for these herbs. Still, what are their effects on pregnancy is also not known. Always ensure to consult your physician before consuming cough drops during pregnancy which contain any of these herbs.

Certain sweeteners or corn syrup is also present in some cough drops. Consult your physician before consuming these cough drops in case you suffer from gestational, type 2, or type 1 diabetes or in case you have a risk of developing gestational diabetes. These sweeteners and corn syrup may raise your blood sugar and make your diabetes difficult to manage.

Alternatives to Try During Pregnancy

Sometimes it is not necessary to use cough drops to relieve your sore throat and cough. Various alternatives are available, which can be used without buying these medicines. It is better to treat cough and sore throat especially during pregnancy with natural home remedies that are easily available at home. These may range from increasing your intake of fluids to consuming tea. Choose from the methods that are easily available to you.

Steam or Humidifiers

In case you are having chronic sore and dry throat, instead of taking cough drops during pregnancy, place a humidifier in your living room or bed room. This helps by keeping the mucous membranes of your throat moist and relieves symptoms. You may also breathe in steam as it also retains the moisture of the mucous membranes. To take steam, boil water and breathe in the steam by placing a towel over your head and shoulders.

Salt Water

Mix a tablespoon salt in a glass of lukewarm water and gargle with it to relieve sore throat. Researchers state that salt water is a close match to the saline content of your body; thereby, it is one of the excellent treatments of sore throat.


Mix honey and lemon in a cup of hot boiling water and make tea. Lemon breaks the mucus which causes sore throat. Honey coats the throat and prevents coughing and irritation. A combination of honey and lemon as tea works wonders for cough and sore throat and you can drink it several times a day in case of persistence of symptoms.

More Fluids

One of the simplest and most effective remedy for sore throat is to increase your intake of fluids. It’s recommended to increase your intake of water after the initial symptoms show up. Fluids make the mucus thin, hydrate the mucous membranes and flush out toxins from the body.

When Should You Call Your Physician?

Stop consuming cough drops and also stop using any home remedies immediately in case:

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