Fontus Lozenges were created out of personal need. Kaitlin Hopkins performed professionally on and off Broadway for over 35 years, and as many other performers have experienced, pre-performance jitters would leave her with serious dry mouth. Technically known as xerostomia, dry mouth is not just uncomfortable, but it can negatively impact pitch and leaves the sufferer feeling parched no matter how much water they drink and constantly needing to clear their throat.
For years Kaitlin looked for dry throat solutions, testing all the dry throat products on the market and trying out different backstage remedies. After much trial and error, she wound up chewing on small pieces of green apple with manuka honey. Tart green apples are great for producing a saliva, they're anti-inflammatory and act as a mucus thinner. Manuka honey, also know as the healing honey, is high in antibacterial properties and soothing on the throat.
She did however long for a more convenient solution and that's when she connected with Cynthia and Nate from OcuSoft, a Texas based pharmaceutical company and together they came up with the perfect dry throat lozenge. Kaitlin put to work all of her years of research and personal trial basing the lozenge ingredients on her backstage remedy of tart green apple and manuka honey, and adding a plant based glycerin and aloe vera for more hydration. Just as importantly as the ingredients in the lozenge, were the ingredients that weren't used. Many cough drops contain menthol to numb pain and refined sugar for sweetness, but menthol is drying on the vocal cords and refined sugar can often lead to inflammation.
While these lozenges were created specifically with singing in mind, there was another motivation. Kaitlin's step father had suffered from Parkinson's disease for almost 20 years and a frequent, but under-reported symptom of Parkinson's is dry mouth and in the development stage she realized that there was a much greater population of dry mouth sufferers who could benefit from her creation. From those taking drying medications to people living at high altitude, frequent flyers and those who just naturally have dryer mouths.
“As a Broadway performer, I was frustrated there was nothing that really worked to counteract dry mouth and dry throat before, during and after performances. After years of suffering, I helped create the throat lozenge I always needed but couldn’t find. Whether you are a performer, teacher, public speaker or frequent flyer, millions of us suffer from dry mouth. I hope this ‘little green lozenge’ gives you as much relief as it has me.”
Fontus is the official lozenge of the Broadway hit, 'Hamilton' as well as many other Broadway and travelling musical theater shows.
Today, Kaitlin heads the Musical Theatre BFA program at Texas State University.
Actress/Singer and Founder of Fontus Little Green Throat Lozenges
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