The main ingredient in cough drops is sugar. Sometimes they have a bit of menthol (which is essential oil from a variety of mint) or camphor (which is not safe for use while pregnant) or eucalyptus... but what 'works' is the sugar syrup melting down your irritated throat. And, they don't work very well if the cough is caused by something other than throat irritation.
You may get relief from holding your head over a bowl of steaming hot water with a towel over your head: a lot of steam can calm irritated lungs. You can do that for 5 minutes every hour if you feel like it. If you happen to have any, a few drops of essential oil (lavendar, cinnamon, tea tree, eucalyptus, clary sage or oil of oregano --pick one you like the smell of) can help, too.
Most cough liquids have alcohol --because alcohol is actually a pretty good cough suppressant-- so you should probably stay away from those whatever the other ingredients are.
at 4:43 PM on Oct. 9, 2010