What Are Throat Lozenges?

Valerie Goldberg

Throat lozenges, also commonly referred to as cough drops, are used to moisten and soothe a person's throat. People frequently use throat lozenges when they have throat irritation resulting from a cold, the flu or allergies. Cough drops can help to ease a sore or dry throat and can temporarily keep a person's cough at bay. Classic throat lozenges are hard, the same consistency as a piece of hard candy. They are meant to be sucked on until they dissolve and should not be chewed or swallowed whole.

Cough drops can help to temporarily keep a person's cough at bay.
Cough drops can help to temporarily keep a person's cough at bay.

Cough drops are sold over the counter and come in several varieties. Common flavors of throat lozenges include cherry, lemon, strawberry and citrus. Some brands and flavors of cough drops taste more medicine-like than others, so a person may want to try a few different brands until he finds one that tastes pleasant. Some cough drops contain properties that numb a person's throat so the pain is less noticeable. This type can be ideal if a person still needs to work at a job that involves a lot of talking while his throat is sore.

Lemon flavored throat lozenges.
Lemon flavored throat lozenges.

Some types of throat lozenges contain vitamin C. This kind of cough drop can be beneficial if a person has a lingering cold, because vitamin C can help to boost a person's immune system. Many throat drops also are available in sugar-free versions that can be ideal for diabetics.

Sore throats might be relieved with throat lozenges.
Sore throats might be relieved with throat lozenges.

It is important for a person to remember that although cough drops may look like candy, and some brands may even taste similar to candy, throat lozenges are meant to be used for medical purposes only. One typically should not suck on a seemingly endless supply of cough drops. Instead, he should read the package and follow the instructions on how many throat lozenges it is safe to use during the course of a day.

Throat lozenges are used to moisten and soothe a person's throat.
Throat lozenges are used to moisten and soothe a person's throat.

Lozenges are just an aid to help a person control symptoms of an illness. A common cold takes time to go away. A person with a cold needs to be sure to drink a lot of liquids and to get plenty of rest. If a person has a more serious issue, such as an infection, then he needs to see a doctor for an antibiotic. Using throat lozenges will only mask symptoms of a throat issue for so long and cannot cure an infection.

Zinc lozenges have been shown to reduce the length and severity of the common cold.
Zinc lozenges have been shown to reduce the length and severity of the common cold.

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Discussion Comments

ysmina

I had a throat infection a few weeks ago that caused inflammation and pain in my throat. I couldn't even swallow properly. I spoke to my pharmacist about it and he recommended a type of throat lozenge which contains antiseptics. I started using these and they started working immediately. My inflammation and pain reduced and I think that the lozenges helped fight my infection as well.

turquoise

@ddljohn-- I sometimes do. The eucalyptus in cough drops and lozenges soothe my throat and help me breathe a little better. But throat lozenges are by no means a cure for asthma.

I usually use throat lozenges once or twice a day when my asthma is acting up. Lozenges are stronger than cough drops and contain more eucalyptus, so they are more effective.

If you have a painful, sore throat or difficulty breathing because of asthma, you may want to give throat lozenges a try. But be careful with how many you use as the article said. Some lozenges contain numbing medication, which is not really needed in my view. So read labels carefully to find out which medications throat lozenges contain.

ddljohn

Does anyone here use throat lozenges for asthma symptoms?

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