Can you overdose on cough drops? Let’s face it, it may say on the bag that you can take 1 cough drop every few hours, but many of us who have a sore throat or who are hacking up a lung all damn day will take cough drops all day long, and go through a whole bag of them in just a single day. So, can you overdose on cough drops? And if so, how many cough drops would you have to take to overdose, and what damage does too many cough drops do to the body?
According to the National Poison Control Center, yes, you can overdose on cough drops, and menthol is the culprit. The average cough drop contains anywhere from 5 mg menthol to 10 mg (Halls average 2.5 mg to 10 mg of menthol, depending on flavor chosen, according to Wikipedia). Menthol over dosage varies from person to person, with weight, age, and current health condition playing a lead role in what causes menthol overdose. However, on average, it is pure menthol that causes an overdose, rather than cough drops and their menthol ingredients, but be sure to talk to your doctor about how many cough drops you can safely take in a single day to avoid an overdose from happening to you.
Signs of a menthol overdose include blood in the urine (or not being able to urinate, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain, shallow or difficulty breathing, and in severe cases, dizziness, difficulty walking, convulsions, or even unconsciousness or tremors.
If you are worried that you may have consumed too much menthol, or have overdosed on cough drops, call your doctor or the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222), and share with them what you have been taking, the amount you are taking them per day, your symptoms, and the amount of menthol in a single cough drop. The sooner you get to the doctor for help, the better your recovery.
While pure menthol is hard to come by, and most products that contain menthol are actually a watered down version of the drug, overdosing even on cough drops is a reality. Don’t abuse your cough drops usage, and talk to your doctor about how safe your cough drop daily consumption really is.