April 13, 2024

Throat Infection Treatment

A throat infection, also known as pharyngitis, is an inflammation of the pharynx, which is the part of the throat that is located behind the mouth and the nasal cavity. It can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection and may result in symptoms such as sore throat, difficulty swallowing, swollen tonsils, fever, and cough.

Viral infections are the most common cause of throat infections and are usually self-limiting, meaning they go away on their own. Bacterial infections, such as strep throat, are less common but can be more serious and require treatment with antibiotics.

Throat infections can be spread through close contact with infected individuals or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth or nose. Good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, can help prevent the spread of throat infections. If you suspect you have a throat infection, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.


The treatment for a throat infection, also known as pharyngitis, depends on the underlying cause. If the infection is caused by a virus, treatment may include:

Over-the-counter pain relievers

Medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce fever.

Throat lozenges

Lozenges that contain anesthetics or numbing agents can help alleviate throat pain.

Warm saltwater gargles

Gargling with warm saltwater can help reduce inflammation and relieve soreness.

Cough syrup

If you have a cough, an over-the-counter cough syrup may help relieve symptoms.

If the infection is caused by bacteria, such as strep throat, treatment will likely involve antibiotics. It’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics, even if symptoms improve, to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated.

In some cases, a healthcare provider may also recommend additional measures, such as bed rest, increased fluid intake, and avoiding smoking and alcohol.

If your symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment. They may prescribe additional medications or treatments to help alleviate your symptoms and clear the infection.

Over the Counter Treatment

Some examples of over-the-counter cough syrups that can be used for throat infections caused by viruses include:

Delsym (dextromethorphan)

Delsym is a cough suppressant that works by blocking the cough reflex in the brain.

Robitussin (guaifenesin)

Robitussin is an expectorant that works by thinning and loosening mucus in the airways, making it easier to cough up.

Mucinex (guaifenesin)

Mucinex is also an expectorant that works by loosening mucus in the airways.

It’s important to note that cough syrups may not be effective for all types of coughs, and some may cause side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness. Always read the label and follow the instructions carefully, and talk to your healthcare provider before taking any medications, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Some examples of over-the-counter pain relievers that can be used for throat infections include:

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Acetaminophen is a common pain reliever that can help alleviate throat pain, as well as reduce fever.

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower fever.

It’s important to note that these medications may have potential side effects or interactions with other medications or medical conditions, so it’s always best to talk to a healthcare provider before taking them. Always follow the recommended dosage on the label and do not exceed the maximum daily dosage.

Here are some examples of throat lozenges and sprays that can be used to soothe a sore throat caused by an infection:

Chloraseptic Sore Throat Spray

This throat spray contains a local anesthetic (phenol) that can help numb the throat, as well as provide a cooling sensation that can help relieve pain.

Cepacol Sore Throat & Cough Lozenges

These lozenges contain a combination of a local anesthetic (benzocaine) and menthol, which can provide relief from throat pain and coughing.

Halls Cough Drops

Halls cough drops contain menthol, which can help soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing.

Ricola Natural Herb Cough Drops

Ricola cough drops contain a blend of natural herbs, including elderflower, peppermint, and lemon balm, which can help soothe a sore throat and relieve coughing.

It’s important to note that while these products can provide temporary relief from symptoms, they do not treat the underlying cause of the infection. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider if symptoms persist or worsen, or if you develop other symptoms such as fever, difficulty swallowing, or difficulty breathing.

Antihistamines are medications that are typically used to treat allergies, but they may also be used to help relieve symptoms of throat infections that are caused by an allergic reaction. Some examples of antihistamines that can be used to help relieve throat infection symptoms include:

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the throat, as well as alleviate itching and other allergy symptoms.

Loratadine (Claritin)

Loratadine is an antihistamine that can help relieve sneezing, runny nose, and other allergy symptoms that may be contributing to throat irritation.

Cetirizine (Zyrtec)

Cetirizine is an antihistamine that can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the throat, as well as relieve itching and other allergy symptoms.

It’s important to note that antihistamines may have potential side effects or interactions with other medications or medical conditions, so it’s always best to talk to a healthcare provider before taking them. Antihistamines may also cause drowsiness or impair your ability to perform certain tasks, so it’s important to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how the medication affects you.

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