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marmoset's avatar

Slippery elm bark throat lozenges: is it actually important to eat one only every 2 hours?

Asked by marmoset (1341points) February 5th, 2012 from iPhone

I’ve got sinusitis and I have some cough drops with slippery elm bark as their only active ingredient. They say “may be repeated every 2 hours.” Really? Is there anything about slippery elm bark that would mean it’s only safe to eat 100mg of it every 2 hours?

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6 Answers

jca's avatar

I just googled this, and came to the University of Maryland website. You should check it out – it says they increase mucous production, can be used for ulcerative conditions and diarrhea, as well as sore throat. It says you shouldn’t take them in combination with other medications and so you should take it two hours before or after other medications or herbal supplements.

marinelife's avatar

I think that you should stick to the recommended dosage.

“Powdered bark is incorporated into lozenges to provide demulcent action (soothing to mucous membranes) in the treatment of throat irritation. It also is used for its emollient and antitussive actions, to treat bronchitis and other lung afflictions, and to relieve thirst.”

“When slippery elm preparations are taken internally, they cause reflex stimulation of nerve endings in the GI tract, leading to mucus secretion.”


“However, because slippery elm coats the gastrointestinal tract, it may slow the absorption of medications or other supplements you may be taking, which can have negative effects if the medication is essential. The UMMC recommends taking slippery elm two hours before or after taking other drugs or herbal remedies,”

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marmoset's avatar

So, what I’m looking for is any reason for their recommended 2-hr interval between the tiny (100mg) doses, which no googling I’ve done (and neither answer above) gives. I can’t find a good reason; does anyone know one?

marmoset's avatar

(I’m taking no other medications that are absorbed through the GI tract.)

GoldieAV16's avatar

My slippery elm lozenges (Thayers) are 150 mg every two hours. Since Thayers are FDA approved, I’d say that it is safe to have more than 100 mg.

Perhaps the two hours is somewhat arbitrary – just a known safe threshold, which is not to say that every hour, or every 30 minutes might not be safe, too.

Are you finding not enough relief? Is that the reason you’re asking, or just out of curiosity?

gailcalled's avatar

Drink hot tea with lemon and honey and suck on hard candy as often as you want, for harmless palliatives.

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