MENU
ConsumerLab.com Answers

Question:
Are lozenges and sublingual pills considered dietary supplements?

Answer:
Lozenges and sublingual pills are, according the FDA, not dietary supplements if they deliver their contents only to the mouth or throat to exert their effect. (An example of this is noted in an FDA Warning Letter sent to a company marketing a "Zinc & Echinacea" throat lozenge). 

Keep in mind that just because a product is sold as a sublingual does not mean that it's been proven to work sublingually. Also keep in mind that the ingredients in lozenges do, of course, make their way into the gastrointestinal tract and can have additional effects once there. For example, while the zinc in zinc lozenges may have a local effect on the throat to reduce cold symptoms when taken at the correct dosage and frequency, ingestion of too much zinc from lozenges can cause one to exceed tolerable intake levels and, over time, have detrimental effects (see the Zinc Supplements and Lozenges Review for more information).

ConsumerLab.com tests lozenges and sublingual pills (such as some vitamin B-12 products) and holds them to the same standards as dietary supplements — making sure they contain what they claim, lack common contaminants, and that tablets will properly disintegrate. 

Also see these related CL Answers:



Do probiotics that come in different forms, like gum or lozenges, really work? >>

Is sublingual vitamin B-12 really better than the pill form? >>



See other recent and popular questions >>
Comments
Add Comment

JARKKO16252   November 30, 2017
Is sublingual RiboFlavin a scam? It might work for migraine prohylaxis. At least it works after swallowing.

ConsumerLab.com   April 2, 2018
Hi Jarkko - We are not aware of any studies on the absorption of riboflavin (vitamin B2) from sublingual riboflavin products. However, you are correct that there is some evidence riboflavin may be helpful for migraine -- see the CL Answer about migraines (https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/do-any-supplements-help-with-migraines/migraines/) and the Encyclopedia article about migraine headaches
(https://www.consumerlab.com/tnp.asp?chunkiid=21557).

Be aware that some added ingredients in sublingual supplements (such as sublingual B12) can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in some people (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Review_Best_B_Vitamins_and_Complexes_Energy_B6_B12_Biotin_Niacin_Folic_Acid/bvitamins/#taste).

This CL Answer initially posted on 6/24/2016. Last updated 8/1/2017.

Add Comment...

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted.
Comment:

Add Comment...

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted.
Comment:

Edit Comment...

You can modify your comment below. Please be aware the comment will have to approve the changes before they will be shown:
Comment: