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A demulcent cough drop

A demulcent (derived from the Latin: demulcere "caress") is an agent that forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.[1] However, they generally help for less than 30 minutes.[2]

Demulcents are sometimes referred to as mucoprotective agents. Demulcents such as pectin, glycerin, honey, and syrup are common ingredients in cough mixtures and cough drops.[3] Methylcellulose, propylene glycol, and glycerine are synthetic demulcents.


  1. ^ Mandel, I. D. (1987). "The Functions of Saliva". Journal of Dental Research. 66 (2 suppl): 623–627. doi:10.1177/00220345870660S203. ISSN 0022-0345. PMID 3497964. S2CID 23498530.
  2. ^ Frye, R; Bailey, J; Blevins, AE (May 2011). "Clinical inquiries. Which treatments provide the most relief for pharyngitis pain?". The Journal of Family Practice. 60 (5): 293–4. PMID 21544279.
  3. ^ Boyd, Eldon M. (1952). "Cough medication and antihistaminic drugs". Can Med Assoc J. 67 (4): 289–92. PMC 1822606. PMID 13009543.

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