Does Halls cough drops contain gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause serious health issues like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, fatigue and more. This is why it’s important for those with gluten sensitivities or intolerance to know which foods and medications contain gluten.

Cough drops are a common medication used to soothe sore throats and relieve coughs. But can people with gluten sensitivities safely use products like Halls cough drops? Do Halls cough drops contain gluten? Here’s a comprehensive look at the ingredients in different Halls cough drop flavors to help you determine if they are safe to use on a gluten-free diet.

Do Halls cough drops contain gluten?

The answer is maybe. Some Halls cough drop flavors contain gluten while others do not. Halls cough drops are manufactured by the company Mondelez International. According to Mondelez, the only Halls cough drop flavors that contain gluten are:

– Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops – Honey Lemon flavor
– Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops – Berry flavor

The gluten is derived from wheat starch, which is listed as an ingredient on the packaging of these two flavors.

All other Halls cough drop flavors do not contain gluten or wheat-derived ingredients. Therefore, the following Halls cough drop flavors are considered gluten-free:

– Halls Sugar Free cough drops – Black Cherry, Honey Lemon, and Menthol flavors
– Halls XS Throat Drops – Honey Lemon, Cherry, and Menthol flavors
– Halls Mentho-Lyptus cough drops
– Halls Breezers – Cool Mint Rush, Fresh Mint, and Spearmint flavors
– Halls Soothers – Honey Lemon and Wild Cherry flavors
– Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops – Assorted Citrus flavors
– All other Halls cough drop flavors besides Honey Lemon and Berry Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops

So in summary:

Halls cough drops that contain gluten:
– Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops – Honey Lemon
– Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops – Berry

Halls cough drops that are gluten-free:
– All other Halls cough drop flavors

Checking the ingredients list

To know for sure if a particular flavor of Halls cough drops contains gluten, it’s always best to check the ingredients list printed on the individual cough drop package.

Here are some things to look for when reading the ingredients:

– Wheat – Any ingredients containing wheat in the name clearly contain gluten. This includes wheat starch, wheat flour, etc.
– Barley – Barley also contains gluten so any barley-derived ingredients are not gluten-free.
– Rye – Rye contains gluten too.
– Malt – Malt is sometimes derived from barley, so malt or malt extract is generally not gluten-free unless specified.
– Oats – Oats are naturally gluten-free but are often contaminated with wheat during processing. Look for packages specifying uncontaminated, certified gluten-free oats.
– Dextrin – Dextrin is sometimes made from wheat so make sure the source is not wheat if this ingredient is listed.
– Natural and artificial flavors – These can contain gluten depending on the source so call the manufacturer to inquire if it is not specified.

If you see any of these questionable ingredients on the Halls cough drops package, I would recommend contacting the manufacturer to directly inquire about the gluten-free status of that product before consuming.

Halls ingredients lists

Here are more details on the ingredients found in popular Halls cough drop flavors:

Halls Sugar Free Black Cherry cough drops

Ingredients: black cherry flavor (maltodextrin, propylene glycol, artificial flavors, benzyl alcohol, triacetin), citric acid, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, carnauba wax, stearic acid, red 40.

Gluten-free: Yes

Halls Breezers Cool Mint Rush

Ingredients: sorbitol, water, natural and artificial flavors, vegetable oil, sodium saccharin, magnesium hydroxide, sucralose, color (FD&C blue #1, titanium dioxide), carnauba wax, beeswax.

Gluten-free: Yes

Halls Cough Drops Honey Lemon

Ingredients: Corn syrup, sugar, honey, gelatin, lemon flavor (water, propylene glycol, lemon oil distillate, lemon terpenes, vanillin, artificial flavor), citric acid, sodium citrate, color added.

Gluten-free: Yes

Halls Soothers Wild Cherry Flavor

Ingredients: Corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, natural and artificial flavors, yellow 6.

Gluten-free: Yes

Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops – Honey Lemon

Ingredients: Corn syrup, sugar, honey, gelatin, natural flavors (contains wheat ingredients), ascorbic acid, citric acid, sucralose, sodium citrate, color added.

Gluten-free: No

Halls XS Throat Drops Cherry

Ingredients: Sugar, glucose syrup, water, gelatin, citric acid, natural cherry flavor, sodium benzoate, red 40.

Gluten-free: Yes

So as you can see, most Halls cough drops flavors do not contain gluten except for the Honey Lemon Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops which contains wheat. Always double check the ingredients list for any questionable ingredients before consuming. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer.

Cross-contamination risks

Even cough drops that don’t contain gluten in their ingredients could potentially be cross-contaminated. Cross-contamination happens when gluten-containing grains come into contact with products that are naturally gluten-free. This often happens on shared equipment or in facilities that also process wheat, barley or rye.

According to Mondelez International, their Halls facilities have procedures in place to avoid cross-contamination with wheat-based ingredients. However there is still a small chance that trace amounts of gluten could make their way into certain cough drop flavors. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities should take note of this.

Those highly sensitive should contact the company directly to understand their testing protocols and purity standards. Some individuals may still wish to avoid Halls cough drops altogether if trying to follow a strictly gluten-free diet due to the minor cross-contamination risk.

Best practices when consuming Halls cough drops

If you decide to consume Halls cough drops, here are some tips to reduce exposure to potential cross-contamination:

– Stick to Halls cough drop flavors that are naturally gluten-free based on ingredients
– Check the packaging each time you purchase Halls since ingredients can change periodically
– Look for warning labels indicating allergen information or the risk of gluten exposure
– Only purchase single-wrapped Halls cough drops, avoid unlabeled bulk containers
– Avoid flavors manufactured on shared lines with wheat ingredients like Honey Lemon Halls Defense
– Contact Mondelez International for up-to-date testing policies and gluten-free certification
– Speak to your doctor if you have celiac disease or are highly sensitive
– Be sure to read the ingredients every time before consuming as recipes can change

Following these steps can help minimize your risk of consuming trace gluten from cross-contamination. However there is no way to fully eliminate the possibility of exposure from shared equipment in facilities. Use your best judgement deciding if Halls cough drops will fit into your gluten-free lifestyle.

Halls cough drops FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Halls cough drops and gluten:

Are Halls mentho-lyptus cough drops gluten-free?
Yes, Halls mentho-lyptus cough drops do not contain any gluten-based ingredients. However they may be at risk of cross-contamination.

Can celiacs eat Halls cough drops?
Some flavors are gluten-free based on ingredients, but celiacs should use caution and contact the manufacturer since facilities are shared. Individual sensitivity levels vary.

Does Halls use wheat in their cough drops?
Most flavors do not contain wheat. Only Honey Lemon Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops uses wheat starch as an ingredient.

What flavors of halls are gluten free?
Sugar free black cherry, breezers, sugar-free menthol, soothers wild cherry, XS throat drops cherry, and all flavors except Honey Lemon Halls Defense are gluten-free based on ingredients.

Are Halls breezers gluten-free?
Yes, Halls breezers cool mint rush, fresh mint, and spearmint flavors are labeled gluten-free. But there is some risk of cross-contamination.

Can people with gluten intolerance eat halls?
Those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease should exercise caution and ask their doctor before consuming halls cough drops due to potential cross-contamination.

Do Halls have glutenous ingredients?
Most flavors do not contain glutenous ingredients, except for Honey Lemon Halls Defense which contains wheat starch.

Are Halls XS throat drops gluten free?
Yes, Halls XS throat drops flavors including honey lemon, cherry, and menthol are gluten-free according to ingredients. But they may come into contact with gluten during manufacturing.

Table summarizing Halls cough drops gluten content

Halls Cough Drop Flavor Contains Gluten (Yes/No)
Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops – Honey Lemon Yes
Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops – Berry Yes
Halls Sugar Free – Black Cherry No
Halls Sugar Free – Honey Lemon No
Halls Sugar Free – Menthol No
Halls Breezers – Cool Mint Rush No
Halls Soothers – Honey Lemon No
Halls Soothers – Wild Cherry No
Halls XS Throat Drops – Cherry No
Halls Mentho-Lyptus No


When shopping for cough drops, always carefully inspect the ingredients label if you are gluten-free. For Halls brand, most flavors do not contain gluten in the ingredients but could be subject to cross-contamination. The two varieties containing gluten include Honey Lemon and Berry Halls Defense Vitamin C Drops, due to wheat starch. All other Halls flavors are gluten-free according to ingredients but facility practices should be considered. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have celiac disease or are highly sensitive before consuming. With proper precautions and awareness while reading labels, most people who follow a gluten-free diet can safely consume certain Halls cough drop varieties in moderation when needed for a cough or sore throat.

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