Vegan Sore Throat Lozenges and Cough Drops Options


A little while back I had a bad cold and I was in desperate need of throat lozenges.

But when I went to a local pharmacy, I found out that many popular cough drops are not vegan.

As a result, I’ve put together this page to help you quickly find a vegan option so that you don’t have to waste time reading the ingredients in a store.

Common Non-Vegan Ingredients to Watch Out for In Throat Lozenges

I’ll go over which of the most popular lozenges are and aren’t vegan in a second, but first, here are the main ingredients to look out for if you’re looking at ingredients labels yourself:

  • Artificial colors: These will always be listed as a color followed by a number (e.g., blue no. 1, red no. 40, yellow no. 5). Some vegans are okay with these, while others are not due to extensive animal testing around them. Here’s a detailed post on whether or not artificial colors are veganMake your own choice.
  • Honey: Not vegan of course.
  • Magnesium stearate: Usually made from pork, but can be made from vegetables. You need to contact the company to find out, or look for vegetarian label or something to indicate the source.
  • Glycerin: Can come from either animal or plant sources. You need to contact the manufacturer to find out if not specified.

Are Halls Throat Lozenges Vegan?

If you consider artificial colors vegan-friendly, then almost all Halls would be vegan.

If you’re a fairly strict vegan who avoids artificial colors, you wouldn’t consider most Halls to be vegan.

Here’s a summary table of potential non-vegan ingredients in each flavor:

Flavor Potential non-vegan ingredients
Cherry Flavor Menthol Blue #2, red #40
Extra Strong Menthol Flavor Drops Blue #1
Honey Lemon Flavor Cough Drops Honey
Ice Peppermint Flavor Cough Drops Blue #1
Menthol-Lyptus Flavor Cough Drops Blue #1, red #40
Mint Bliss Flavor Cough Drops Blue #1, yellow #5
Orange Flavor Cough Drops Red #40, yellow #5
Strawberry Flavor Cough Drops Red #40
Tropical Fruit Flavor Cough Drops Red #40
Sugar Free Assorted Mint Flavors Cough Drops Blue #1
Sugar Free Black Cherry Flavor Cough Drops Blue #1, red #40
Sugar Free Citrus Blend Flavor Cough Drops  
Sugar Free Honey Berry Flavor Cough Drops Blue #1, red #40
Sugar Free Honey Lemon Flavor Cough Drops Glycerin
Sugar Free Mountain Menthol Flavor Cough Drops Blue #1, red #40
Cherry Flavor Cough Drops with Soothing Syrup Center Blue #2, red #40
Honey Lemon Cough Drops with Soothing Syrup Center Honey, glycerin

If you’re a strict vegan, then only the Sugar Free Citrus Blend Flavor Cough Drops would be vegan friendly.

If you’re okay with artificial colors, just avoid the ones with honey, there aren’t too many.

Finally, a couple have glycerin in the ingredients, which could be from plants or animals. I contacted Halls asking for clarification, but only received a generic “we don’t know for sure either way”. So the glycerin could be from plants, but I’d avoid it to be safe.

Are Fisherman’s Friends Cough Drops Vegan?

In one word: Yes!

Here are the 3 main flavors and ingredients in them:

Flavor Ingredients
Original Capsicum, dextrin, eucalyptus oil, natural licorice, sugar, tragacanth
Cherry Acesulfame K, cherry flavor, herbal flavor, magnesium stearate, sorbitol, sucralose
Refreshing Mint Magnesium stearate, peppermint flavor, sorbitol, sucralose

The only potential non-vegan ingredient is the magnesium stearate in both the cherry and mint flavors.

According to Fisherman’s Friend’s FAQs however, all their cough drops are suitable for both vegans and vegetarians, which means they almost certainly use a plant-based magnesium stearate.

If you want to be 100% sure, just stick to the original flavor, which is easy to find (here’s a link to it on Amazon), but I’d feel fine with any personally.

Are Luden’s Throat Drops Vegan?

Finally, Luden’s is also fairly popular.

They have a wide range of flavors, some vegan, some not. So let’s break them down.

Flavor Potential non-vegan ingredients
Original Menthol Caramel color (probably okay)
Wild cherry Blue #2, red #40
Honey Licorice Glycerin, honey
Watermelon Red #40
Green Apple Blue #1, yellow #5
Strawberry-Banana Blue #2, red #40, yellow #6
Wild Honey Caramel color (probably okay), honey
Honey Lemon Yellow #5, honey
Wild Berry Blue #1, blue #2, red #40
Black Cherry Blue #1, red #40
Kiwi-Strawberry Blue #1, yellow #5
Blue Raspberry Blue #1

So if you’re okay with artificial colors, you have a lot of options.

If you’re not, the only option is the original one. Caramel color can be non-vegan (milk ingredients), but it usually is vegan friendly.

Summary: Look for These Vegan Throat Lozenges and Cough Drops

From the context of a vegan who wants a clearly vegan option, Fisherman’s Friends is your best choice, as all their flavors are vegan friendly.

Otherwise, you’ll need to specifically track down Hall’s Sugar Free Citrus Blend Flavor Cough Drops or the Original Menthol Luden’s flavor.

There’s going to be differences of opinion on something like this, but you should have all the information you need here to make your own decision.

About the author

Dale C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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