cough drops for keto

Keto-Friendly Cough Drops

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A sore throat or dry cough is a common experience during the initial stage of your keto diet. Dehydration, deficiency in electrolytes, and hormonal imbalances are the main culprits.

So, you want to use cough drops to relieve your keto cough. However, you are worried as the lozenges may have high amounts of sugar.

But you don’t need to worry because there are keto-friendly cough drops!

We share with you if cough lozenges can kick you out of ketosis and which ones are the best keto-friendly cough drops to soothe your sore throat.

We also have some ideas on homemade keto-friendly cough drops you can try.

cough drops for keto

What is Keto Flu?

If you’ve only just started the keto diet, you may be experiencing brain fog, confusion, irritability, constipation, muscle soreness, or sugar cravings.

These are symptoms of the keto flu, which occur during the early stages of ketosis. This is when the body switches to burning fat for energy.

Ketones are produced to become the main fuel source when in this metabolic state. 

The drastic carb reduction can come as a shock to the body and may cause withdrawal-like symptoms.

Some think it’s because of hormonal shifts, while others believe it’s a metabolic adaptation or changes in blood sugar. 

One common symptom of the keto flu, which may be uncommon compared to brain fog, is coughing. 

It’s a reflex that our body does to remove excess mucus or irritants from the throat, leading to extreme discomfort or even a disrupted sleep pattern. 

This symptom may have you reaching for a cough drop to soothe the irritation.

Will a Cough Drop Kick Me Out of Ketosis?


Many cough drops will not kick you out of ketosis as they are sugar-free. However, you still want to check the label to guarantee that the ingredients are keto-friendly.

The number of carbs on the keto diet isn’t the only consideration for determining whether a food is keto-friendly or not.

Even if you are using cough drops for medicinal purposes, carbs are still carbs. 

Sugar-related claims can be misleading. Despite the “no sugar added” or “unsweetened” text on the packaging, the cough drops may still have carbs or other sweeteners that are not keto-friendly. 

Even a sugar-free cough drop can contain at least 0.5g of sugar. 

On keto, carbs are typically reduced to under 50 grams per day. The small amount of carbs in cough drops will add up if you are eating them throughout the day.

Even though a few cough drops won’t kick you out of ketosis, you want to save your daily carb allowance for whole foods which contain healthy amounts of vitamins and minerals.

When to Take Cough Drops on Keto

Cough drops are not candy. Therefore, there is no reason for you to consume them when you don’t have a cough or sore throat.

You can take cough drops on the keto when you experience the following symptoms:

  • burning sensation
  • dry and irritated
  • tender
  • scratchy
  • nasal congestion
  • headache
  • trouble swallowing
  • fever
  • chills. 

A dry cough and sore throat are normal in the first few weeks of the keto diet. If symptoms persist, call your doctor.

Best Keto-Friendly Cough Drops

Here are some of the most keto-friendly cough drops you can try on the keto diet if you’re experiencing a cough or dry throat.

These are generally safe to take on the keto diet to alleviate the symptoms of the keto flu.

Halls Sugar-Free Honey Lemon Flavor Cough Drops

Halls Sugar-Free Honey Lemon Cough Drops are the most recommended cough drops on the keto diet.

They only have 5 calories per drop. They do not list their carb count, but we suspect that it is probably around 2-3g of total carbs!

This product does not contain any sugar or harmful sugar alcohols! It only has isomalt, a low-glycemic ingredient that does not affect your ketosis.

Halls is well-known for getting rid of cough and sore throat. The vitamin C in each cough drop also helps boost your immune system!

Sugar-Free Silver Lozenges in Soothing Lemon

If you’re looking for some keto-friendly lozenges for your cough, My Doctor Suggests’ Sugar-Free Silver Lozenge Soothing Lemon is the best choice since it only contains 1.5g of total carbs per drop.

These cough drops are considered low-carb and keto-friendly because they are sweetened by monk fruit. Other brands of cough drops have 5-7g of carbs despite being sugar-free.

These great-tasting cough drops contain 30ppm of silver solution for mouth health and a soothing feeling in the throat. They also help protect your immune system.

Some find silver solution difficult to gargle, so infusing it in candy can help the solution stay in contact for 6-10 minutes. 

These lozenges are available in flavors including Tropical Orange, Wild Cherry, Sugar-Free Lemon, Green Apple, Sweet Menthol, Ginger Spice, and Honey and Lemon

These keto cough drops are guaranteed effective as My Doctor Suggests stays committed to staying at the forefront of research and development.

Take note that they include small amounts of Sucralose, so consuming more than a couple might upset your stomach.

Olba’s Lozenges

Olba’s lozenges have a very mild menthol taste and they are sugar-free.

According to their website, this product contains ISOMALT, a low-digestible carbohydrate made of pure beet sugar that stimulates bowel activity when taken in large amounts.

While there is no information on their carb count, many assume that it has 3g of carbs since the weight of each drop, which is 3g, is almost entirely Isomalt. 

This component is considered better than sugar as it does not cause tooth decay and is absorbed slowly, leading to low impact on glucose levels.

It is also found in green beans, onions, and other types of fruit. 

Olba’s Lozenges fight coughs and soothe a sore throat while also making your nasal passages clearer.

Its powerful, cooling vapor also increases airflow in your lungs and sinuses.

Homemade Keto-Friendly Cough Drops

If you want your cough drops to be guaranteed low-carb, you can always be on the safe side by making your own cough drops. Here are some easy recipes to try.

Soothing Homemade Cinnamon and Honey Cough Drops

These homemade cough drops by Health, Home, & Happiness only have 2g of net carbs per three drops! They are low-carb despite using honey and cinnamon.

You can keep the drops in the freezer in single layers between parchment paper to avoid sticking to each other.

All you need for this recipe are:

  • 1 ½ cups honey
  • 1tbs cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of cayenne
  • 1 cup cane sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional).

Make sure to store the cough drops in an air-tight container. You may also keep them in the freezer if you want to stored them for over a week.

Ginger Tea

These are not cough drops but ginger some effective benefits for sore throat. 

The best thing about ginger tea is that it is low-carb.

Harney & Sons Tea Ginger Tea, Ginger with Lemon, 30 Sachets

Try Harney & Sons Ginger Tea with Lemon. This premium tea has sweet and spicy notes of ginger root with lemon for that citrusy taste. 

It’s simple yet so full of body with only 0-1g of net carbs.

Or just grab yourself some fresh ginger and brew your own at home.

Can You Overdose on Cough Drops?

There are two factors that can affect how harmful cough drops can be when taken in large amounts.

Menthol Poisoning

Cough lozenges help soothe the throat and curb the reflex that makes you cough. It is possible to overdose, but it’s incredibly difficult.

The most common way you can overdose on cough drops is through menthol poisoning. 

This usually occurs when ingesting pure menthol, and over-the-counter cough drops don’t contain pure menthol.

A typical cough drop has about 3-5mg of menthol. The lethal dose of menthol is 1000mg per kilogram of body weight

If, for example, you weigh 150 pounds, you need to eat around 6800 cough drops in a short period before you get poisoned.

In short, it is impossible to overdose on menthol cough drops.

There was a report of a man who ate 2 entire bags of menthol cough drops every day for 20 years. He experienced the following symptoms:

  • muscle aches
  • skin lesions
  • difficulty walking
  • heartburn
  • oral ulcers
  • intermittent diarrhea
  • disorientation
  • lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements.

His symptoms only disappeared when he stopped eating menthol cough drops. 


Sorbitol, a sugar substitute, does not necessarily cause poisoning. However, sugar-free varieties of cough drops containing this compound can have a laxative effect.

Large amounts of sorbitol can result in:

  • abdominal pain
  • flatulence
  • mild to severe diarrhea
  • unintended weight loss.

FAQs Keto Diet and Keto Flu Symptoms

How Many Cough Drops Will Kick Me Out of Ketosis?

That depends on the number of carbohydrates you consume during the day. Most people who are following a ketogenic diet stick below 50g a day.

As mentioned, if sugar-free cough drops contain 0.5g of carbs, it would take 100 cough drops before you get kicked out of ketosis.

That seems unrealistic. However, if you’ve eaten other high-carb foods during the day, your chances of getting kicked out of ketosis are higher.

Test your ketone levels to check if your cough drops have kicked you out of ketosis. 

Will Ketone Supplements Help with My Cough?

Ketone supplements help support your ketosis by strengthening the production of ketone bodies and alleviating the symptoms of the keto flu.

They also supply your body with essential nutrients that you often lack on the ketogenic diet.

These ketone supplements are helpful when you want to quickly enter ketosis and stay there as you increase your carb intake a little. 

Learn more about what ketone supplements do so you can support your keto diet efforts.

Will Electrolytes Help with My Cough?

Electrolytes are great supplements to sip on when you have a cough, cold, or flu on keto. 

They will help you stay hydrated with additional sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. All of these are responsible for maintaining fluid balance in your body.

Electrolyte imbalance is quite common when you have the keto flu. Aside from a cough and sore throat, you may also experience fever, muscle ache, heart palpitations, and diarrhea.

Find out the best electrolyte supplements for the keto diet to relieve a cough or sore throat! 

Take Cough Drops for Your Keto Cough

These cough drops have little to no carbs, so they are not off-limits on the keto diet. They can be helpful if you experience dry cough and sore throat as symptoms of the keto flu.

Always opt for “sugar-free” cough drops because they use alternative sweeteners to give your cough drops a great flavor.

You can also try making your own keto cough drops! Just make sure not to go over your daily carb limit on the keto diet to ensure your success!

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