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How can I manage a sore throat at home?

Most viral sore throats can be treated with home care. Home care also is a good supplement to the antibiotic treatment given for bacterial infections to relieve pain. These are some home care measures to try:

  • Gargle every few hours with salt water (1/4 teaspoon salt in eight ounces warm water).
  • Drink a cup of weak tea with lemon or honey.
  • Increase fluids to eight to 12 glasses a day.
  • Try over-the-counter throat lozenges containing local anesthetics.
  • Cough drops or hard candy can moisten the throat.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Try acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen for pain and fever. (Do not give aspirin to children under 18.) Follow the label for correct dosage.
  • Using a vaporizer to moisten the air may help moisten the throat.
  • Avoid smoking or being around smoke and other throat irritants.
  • If stomach acid is contributing to the sore throat, take precautions for heartburn.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.