What is a Cough Spray?

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  • Written By: Mandi R. Hall
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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Cough spray goes by many names, including throat spray, antiseptic spray, oral anesthetic, and analgesic spray. Used to curb coughing or numb a sore throat, analgesic spray is essentially a painkiller that is spritzed into the back of the mouth. Considered one of many cough remedies, these sprays are manufactured by many companies that produce over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. With similar effects to throat lozenges, cough spray is meant to relieve a chronic cough and otherwise hydrate the throat.

Cough spray is often utilized to soothe bronchial irritations. Such irritations result from overexertion of the voice, allergies, the common cold, chronic dry cough, smoker’s cough, the early stages of tonsillitis, and dryness in the air. When applied directly or near the agitated bronchial area, throat spray numbs that vicinity.

Although marketed as cough treatments, these sprays may be applied in the mouth, along the gum line, the inner cheeks, or under the tongue. A person may spritz it in his mouth to soothe general tenderness or pain. Likewise, if a person bites his inner lip or tongue, he may use cough spray to suppress the pain.


The major ingredient in cough spray is generally benzocaine or dycloine. Otherwise known as a local anesthetic, benzocaine is a numbing agent that works by momentarily hindering the nerve ending that triggers pain. Other anesthetics used for the throat or dental region include dibucaine, lidocaine, pramoxine, and tetracaine. Cough sprays that include such ingredients are often called local mucosal or throat aids.

Cough spray is typically packaged in a bottle that may be a few inches tall. The bottle is affixed with a nozzle that, when pressed down, sprays the anesthetic solution. It is important to keep this bottle away from children, and away from sensitive areas such as the eyes. Cough sprays come in a variety of colors such as green and red. They can be found at most any drug store or grocery store, and are fairly inexpensive.

It is important to note that medicated spray is not meant to be used daily. Someone who has chronic mouth pain or coughing should consult a physician. Cough spray should not be used for self-medication in the place of seeing a doctor. Some sprays may include a carbolic acid called phenol. Phenol and similar ingredients can be poisonous when taken in incorrect dosages.


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Post 3

@serenesurface-- Have you ever tried a propolis or bee pollen spray with honey?

Not only does it work wonders for coughing and sore throat, but it also has antiseptic properties and strengthens the immune system. It tastes good too.

You don't necessarily need to use a product labeled "cough spray" for relief from coughing. And the spray does not have to have medication either, it can also be made with all natural ingredients.

Bee products are known for their antibacterial and antiviral properties. So when used as a throat spray, the can help fight infections. These products also have honey which is very soothing for the throat. You must give this type of cough spray a try.

Post 2

I tried a cough spray for the first time for sore throat but I'm disappointed. It only provides five minutes of relief and since it's a medication it can only be used so many times per day. It tastes awful too.

Post 1

I use a throat spray with an oral anesthetic for my chronic cough. My cough is triggered by post nasal drip and worsens during sinus infections. I cough so much that my throat feels extremely painful and inflamed. I have tried different remedies like cough drops and lozenges but nothing works as well as a cough spray. I spray it a few times directly on my throat and I have relief from pain and cough for up to five hours. Cough spray also lasts long so it's much more economical than lozenges with anesthetic medication.

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