Cough Drops: Are They Safe To Take During Pregnancy?

One of the many things pregnant women worry about is unintentionally harming their baby during pregnancy. This matter usually arises when the time comes that they will need to take some medication including taking cough drops. Cough drops are a useful treatment for a sore throat. These come in handy when you’re suffering from one and it works almost the same like a candy. Now, you may be asking yourself right now if these are really safe to use during pregnancy. Guess what, these over-the-counter products will not cause any harm to your baby given you’ve consulted about it beforehand with your doctor.

What Are Cough Drops?

Cough drops are usually sold over-the-counter without having the need for a prescription from a doctor. These are taken by those who need short-term relief of a cough due to a cold or influenza. These may contain dextromethorphan or without it.

Cough drops containing dextromethorphan is deemed safe to use for pregnant mothers. This is not only found in cough drops but also in other OTC medicine products. This present dextromethorphan serves as the suppressant of the cough reflex and acts as the cough centre in the brain.

Moreover, you may choose from two versions of cough drops such as the mentholated and the non-mentholated. While menthol has been proven to be an effective treatment for coughs as well as colds, researchers have yet to prove its full effectiveness.

Some cough drops could be labelled as “all natural”. If you think you’re unsure of the ingredients used and their effects, consult your doctor first before taking them. Usually, it’s safe for you to avoid combining several medications with different herbs.

Cough drops may contain any of the following:

  • Benzocaine
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Zinc gluconate glycine
  • Pectin
  • Menthol
  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint oil
  • Honey
  • Peppermint
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Wild thyme
  • Elder
  • Horehound
  • Hyssop
  • Lemon balm
  • Linden flowers
  • Mallow

Why They Are Safe To Use During Pregnancy

Certainly, most cough drops are safe to use and even recommended by the doctors. Pregnant mothers should not worry about taking these so long as they are sure of what they’re taking and they have consulted their doctors before heading to buy some.

The best thing to do before deciding to take cough drops is to talk to your doctor first. Discuss with them the symptoms and other things you think will be of help for them to determine if it’s suitable for you and will not negatively affect your baby during pregnancy.

You have to realize that your doctor should know your condition beforehand so that a proper prescription will be given to you. Always ask your doctor first and don’t buy OTC medicine products without any advice from a health professional.

Opt For Cough Drop Alternatives

Sometimes, using cough drops to ease your cough and sore throat isn’t always the solution. There are various alternatives which you can use without having to buy these medications. While taking these can be one of your options, it’s still better to choose to treat your sore throat with natural remedies you can find at your home. These can range from simply increasing your fluid intake to drinking tea. Choose what method is available at your place.

Humidifiers or Steam

If you’re experiencing dry throats and chronic sore, it is recommended for you to add a humidifier to your bedroom or living room. By doing so, you are keeping your mucous membranes moist which may help ease it and prevent symptoms. You can also opt for breathing steam as it has the same effect as the humidifier if you do not have one. To do this, you have to boil water and when there’s already steam, you may breathe in it.

Salt Water

Simply mixing a tablespoon of salt into a warm water and gargling it after can do wonders if you are suffering from a sore throat. According to researchers, salt water is the close match to our body’s saline content making it one of the best treatments for your condition.


Mix lemon and honey in your cup of tea. Lemon is responsible for breaking up mucus which is causing the sore throat to occur. On the other hand, honey goes after it, coating your throat to avoid irritation and coughing. A combination of these two together with tea works like magic and you can do and drink it many times if symptoms persist.

Fluid Intake

One of the most effective and simplest remedies for a sore throat is increasing your fluid intake. It’s advised to drink more water once the first symptom has shown up. Fluids are known to make your mucous thin, flush toxins out of your body and hydrate your membranes.

Also, you may avoid combining cough drops with other medications unless you’ve talked about doing so with your doctor. They might ask you to take acetaminophen during pregnancy and might allow you for some decongestants. Know just exactly what and how much you need to take.

Important Reminders

Sure, cough drops are safe for pregnant women but one thing you must not do is to exceed the recommended amounts advised by your doctor. You may be tempted to take more as they may work just like candies but remember that while they taste good, there are small amounts of medication you will get for each. Take cough drops only if you’ve been prescribed by your doctor.


Taking cough drops while you’re pregnant will not in any way harm your baby – at least that’s what research says. Most of all, ingredients used to make these are not harmful and can be taken with the prescription of your doctor. Always bear in mind that a health professional must know your condition first before heading to the nearest drug store.

You will never know when you’ll suffer from a bad sore throat or cold so it’s best to avoid getting one as much as possible. Always wash your hand and bring with you a hand sanitizer to use whenever you can’t wash your hands. Keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure.

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