Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Cold & flu health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Sore throat remedies

Sore throats are common in children, teenagers and adults. Depending on what's caused the sore throat, they usually don't need any specific medical treatment. However, home care can help soothe the symptoms.

Seek medical advice if a sore throat is causing difficulty with breathing, swallowing, producing high-pitched breath sounds or a lot of discomfort.

A GP may prescribe antibiotics for a sore throat if they think it is due to a more serious infection.

Painkillers

Painkillers can help relieve the symptoms of a sore throat. These include over-the-counter painkillers, such as age-appropriate paracetamol or ibuprofen. Aspirin should never be given to children under 16 years of age.

Soothing a sore throat

Home remedies that can help soothe a sore throat include:

  • Salt water gargle
  • Sucking sweets, lozenges, ice lollies or ice cubes
  • Drinking plenty of cool or warm drinks, including warm soup
  • Warm honey and lemon drinks.

Don't irritate a sore throat

Things to avoid with a sore throat include:

  • Food and drink that's too hot
  • Smoking or secondhand smoke
  • Steam inhalation – while this may help relieve nasal congestion, hot steam can scald a sore throat.
Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on January 20, 2017

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman_holding_head_in_pain
How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
79x79_causes_of_fatigue_and_how_to_fight_it.jpg
Causes of fatigue & how to fight it
period_questions_answered
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
woman sleeping
Sleep better tonight
girl_sneezing_into_tissue
Treating your child's cold or fever
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning and organising tips
adult man contemplating
When illness makes it hard to eat
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
cold sore
What you need to know