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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Brand Name: cemphire, Cinnamomum camphora

Generic Name: Camphor

Drug Class: Cardiovascular, Herbals; Pulmonary, Herbals

What Is Camphor and How Does It Work?

Camphor is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter cough and cold remedies.

Camphor (oral) suggested uses include as an expectorant, anti-flatulent (anti-gas), and for treatment of respiratory tract infections.

Camphor (inhalation) suggested uses include as an antitussive (anti-cough).

Camphor (topical) suggested uses include treating pain, warts, cold sores, hemorrhoids, osteoarthritis, anti-itch, to increase local blood flow, and as a counterirritant.

Camphor is an FDA-approved topical antitussive (anti-cough).

Camphor is an FDA-approved topical analgesic and anesthetic used to relieve pain.

Camphor is FDA-approved to treat itching.

Symptom relief of osteoarthritis is likely when camphor is applied topically.

Camphor is available under the following different brand and other names: cemphire, and Cinnamomum camphora.

Dosages of Camphor:


Dosage Forms and Strengths


  • Itching and pain: 3-11% ointment applied three to four times daily
  • Cough: Thick layer of 4.7-5.3% ointment applied to throat and chest
  • Osteoarthritis: Topical combo product containing camphor (32 mg/g), glucosamine sulfate (30 mg/g), and chondroitin sulfate (50 mg/g) applied as needed for 8 weeks


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