John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Doctor's View on Sore Throat Home Remedies and Treatments
Comment by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
If you have a sore throat caused by bacteria (for example, strep throat),
your health care professional will most likely treat it with antibiotics such
as amoxicillin and others. If your sore throat was caused by a virus, you were
likely not prescribed antibiotics or given medical treatment. You do have
options with either type of sore throat to use home remedies that can help ease
Home remedies and OTC treatments
Both adults and children can use lozenges and cough drops to help relieve
dryness, and anesthetic throat sprays to help with pain relief.
Drink tea with honey and lemon to soothe the throat.
Drink cold beverages or eat frozen desserts such as ice cream or Popsicles.
Gargle with salt water to help clear the throat and loosen mucus – this is
especially helpful when a sore throat is caused by postnasal drip.
Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and thins mucus secretions.
Use a humidifier to help keep the mouth and throat moist and reduce
You can take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications such as acetaminophen
(Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to help ease the pain and inflammation caused
by a sore throat. Remember, never give children aspirin or aspirin-containing
medications due to the possibility of Reye's syndrome.
Over-the-counter decongestants help shrink mucus membranes and relieve a
runny nose or postnasal drip, which can irritate the throat.
Decongestants may not be safe for children, the elderly, or people with
certain medical conditions. Check with your doctor before using over-the-counter
medication or any home remedy.