Gluten-Free Cough Drops: 6 Brands You Can Trust

Got a cough? You need a gluten-free cough drop

Coughing-Michael-Krasowitz.jpg
Getty Images / Michael Krasowitz

If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, anything you put in your mouth (and eventually in your stomach) needs to be gluten-free. This means you need to find cough drops that don't contain gluten.

Fortunately, there are a few options—including mainstream brands—available. Gluten-free cough drop brands include:

  • Fisherman's Friend
  • Jakemans
  • Luden's
  • Pine Brothers
  • Smith Brothers
  • Wedderspoon Organic

You can find most of these in your local drugstore chain or order them online. Those cough drops that are listed below as "gluten-free" should meet the U.S. Food & Drug Administration gluten-free standard, which requires them to contain less than 20 parts per million.

Unfortunately, there aren't any cough drops that are certified gluten-free, which means they meet more stringent standards (generally, products that are certified gluten-free contain fewer than 10 parts per million of gluten, and the manufacturers take extra care in sourcing raw ingredients).

Cough Drops With Gluten

Here's a list of popular cough drops that contain gluten:

Halls

Halls are not gluten-free. This well-known brand is a subsidiary of Mondelez International, a huge multinational snack company that makes such products as Oreos cookies and Cadbury chocolate bars. HALLS offers a wide variety of cough drops in different flavors and styles, including regular, sugar-free, "natural" and non-mentholated.

Unfortunately, while HALLS products are not made with gluten-containing ingredients, a customer service representative tells me that they can't be considered gluten-free: "We do not guarantee that our products are gluten-free because we sometimes purchase flavoring, color or spice ingredients from suppliers who do not list every possible source of gluten beyond what is required by law."

(For more on what's required, take a look at this: Do food labeling laws require manufacturers to disclose gluten ingredients?) Halls says it will call out any gluten-containing ingredients on its label, but also notes that the company does not use dedicated production lines for its products, so there is a chance of gluten cross-contamination.

Ricola 

This Swiss company makes a variety of medicated cough drops, in flavors such as Lemon Mint, Swiss Cherry, and Honey Herb. All contain menthol and a mixture of herbs. According to Ricola, it cannot claim all of its products as gluten-free, since some may contain ingredients derived from wheat. The company says its center-filled Dual Action drops contain ingredients derived from wheat. The website states, "Although some of our products may contain ingredients derived from wheat, such as our center filled Dual Action drops, these ingredients are highly purified. Our products contain less than 20 parts-per-million gluten. We urge you to share this information with your doctor prior to use if you still have concerns."

Gluten-Free Cough Drops

Fisherman's Friend

In the U.S., Fisherman's Friend lozenges come in Traditional Menthol Eucalyptus (known as "Original Extra Strong"). Sugar-Free Cherry, Sugar-Free Honey Lemon, and Sugar-Free Mint. Additional flavors are available in other countries. According to the company: "The product is suitable for coeliacs and vegans and is Kosher and Halal approved." Fisherman's Friend is also considered allergen-free.

Jakemans

Based in Boston, England, Jakemans has been in the throat lozenge business for more than 100 years and makes cough drops in blueberry menthol, peppermint menthol, honey and lemon menthol, cherry menthol, black currant menthol, anise, and menthol and eucalyptus. All contain menthol as their active ingredient. According to the company, Jakemans products meet both European Union and U.S. gluten-free food label rules. The website states that although no claim is made on the package, the lozenges are considered gluten-free under the Codex Standards.

Luden's

Luden's Lozenges come a variety of flavors: Wild Honey, Honey Lemon, Wild Cherry, Sugar-Free Wild Cherry, Wild Berry, Watermelon, Honey Licorice, Green Apple, and Honey and Berry.

The rest contain pectin (a natural, fruit-based thickening agent) as a throat soother. According to the company, the products are considered gluten-free, and Luden's does not market gluten-containing products.

Pine Brothers

Pine Brothers advertises "softish" cough drops and offers the oblong-shaped drops in four flavors: Natural Honey, Wild Cherry, Licorice and Lemon Citrus. All are labeled "gluten-free." However, the licorice drops contain the sometimes-problematic ingredient caramel color) and may be out if you also have a nut allergy as they are manufactured in a plant that also processes peanuts and tree nuts.​

Smith Bros.

Smith Bros. makes cough drops in three flavors: Warm Apple Pie, Wild Cherry, and Honey Lemon. A customer service representative tells me that all current Smith Bros. products are considered gluten-free.

Wedderspoon Organic

Wedderspoon Organic cough drops are made from manuka honey and come in five flavors: Ginger, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Honey, and Fennel Cinnamon. Additionally, Pops for kids, are available in raspberry, orange, and grape flavors.

In addition to being gluten-free, Wedderspoon cough drops are dairy-free, nut-free, GMO-free, and do not contain any sulphites, artificial coloring, flavoring, preservatives, or trans fats. The cough drops are made in New Zealand (where manuka honey is produced) and are available online.

A Word from Verywell

Remember that this list is valid only for cough drops marketed in the U.S. The same brands sold in other countries, such as Canada may be manufactured differently and may contain different ingredients, so buyer beware. However, at least one gluten-free cough drop brand—Jakeman's—is available both in the U.S. and in the European Union.

Was this page helpful?
3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Gluten and food labeling.

  2. Celiac Disease Foundation. 10 fast facts about the FDA gluten-free labeling rule.

  3. Jakemans. Written queries.