Throat Lozenges vs. Cough Drops - What are the differences?
Ever wondered if there is any difference between cough drops and throat lozenges? Well, if so, you're not alone. The terms throat lozenges and cough drops are often used interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. If you're thinking of buying sore throat medicine but unsure which between these two is the best, this guide is for you.
What is a Throat Lozenge?
A throat lozenge is a small, often flavored tablet that cools and soothes a sore throat. Some lozenges are medicated and have anesthetic properties to help fight colds and ease the pain of a sore throat. A lozenge is intended to dissolve slowly in the mouth and release ingredients to suppress coughs, lubricate, soothe, and cool irritated tissues of the throat.
What is a Cough Drop?
A cough drop is a medicated, candy-like lozenge that prevents excessive coughing and eases the pain of a sore throat. Cough drops often come in various flavors and are preferred for kids.
Typically, lozenge tablets and cough drops are the same and have similar functions. Both products are regarded as the best medicine for sore throats and nagging coughs. Although cough drops and lozenges are almost identical, they contain different (percentage) ingredients and work differently.
When buying a product, remember to check the label carefully to ensure it will serve its purpose. Here are their potential uses.
How Throat Lozenges Work
Throat lozenges have a wide range of ingredients, most of which serve as antibacterial and pain medications. The most popular active elements in lozenge tablets include:
- Menthol – This ingredient helps suppress coughs, ease minor aches and pains, and relieve oral discomfort linked to sore throat, cold sores, and fever blisters. It can also be used to reduce nasal congestion.
- Benzocaine – It is used as a numbing element that reduces pain and suppresses coughs.
- Phenol – This is a mix of oral analgesic and anesthetic commonly used in throat sprays.
- Dextromethorphan – This agent communicates with the brain to stop the cough reflex.
By chewing the tablet, you increase saliva production, preventing throat dryness and suppressing pain and itchiness. However, it's worth noting that a lozenge won't cure throat infections but ease pain and relief symptoms. A sore throat should go away a few days after using throat lozenges, but consider seeing a doctor if it persists.
How Cough Drops Work
Cough drops work similarly to lozenges. When you take the tablet, it dissolves and releases medicine to stop a cough. Most cough drops have medication that can help combat cold symptoms and prevent sore throats. Additionally, a cough drop can increase saliva production to help reduce coughing.
However, like a throat lozenge, cough drops cannot be used to cure coughs resulting from bacterial infections. Instead, they are used to soothe the symptoms of a cough or itching throat. If you're wondering if cough drops are safe for kids, the simple answer is yes.
These tablets can be bought over the counter and often work well for kids aged six and above. If your kid is below six years down to four years, you may have to consult a physician before administering a cough drop.
In a nutshell, throat lozenges and cough drops are essentially the same thing with subtle differences based on ingredients. If you or your loved one is dealing with a cough or sore throat, ensure you find a product with the components that will act effectively.
At Quantum Health, we have an entire line of OTC cough drops and lozenges to help keep your throat in great shape.
TheraZinc Zinc Gluconate Lozenges – Our TheraZinc lozenges give your immune system the extra support when it needs it most to get you back on your feet fast!
Cough Relief: USDA Organic Cough Drops – The ONLY USDA organic cough drop. These cough drops are great to keep handy during the winter months, back-to-school season, and any other time of seasonal immune change. Shop today!