Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain and fever adults pain and fever children warning signs Prevention Underlying Cause Anatomy

Throat Pain Home Care

Home care for a sore throat in an adult includes:

  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid citrus juice.
  • Avoid hot and spicy foods.
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Numb the throat pain with throat spray or lozenges.
  • Perform warm salt water gargles several times a day:
    • Mix 1/2 teaspoon (92.5 ml) salt per cup (240 cc) of water.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Take prescribed antibiotics as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Don't stop taking your medication just because you feel better.
    • If you feel worse, talk to your doctor before you stop your medication.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Home care for a sore throat in a child includes:
  • Avoid citrus juice.
  • Avoid hot and spicy foods.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Numb the throat pain with throat spray or lozenges.
  • Perform warm salt water gargles several times a day:
    • Mix 1/2 teaspoon (92.5 ml) salt per cup (240 cc) of water.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Take prescribed antibiotics as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Don't stop taking your medication just because you feel better.
    • If you feel worse, talk to your doctor before you stop your medication.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Throat Pain Pain and Fever Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and fever in adults with a sore throat include:


Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.

Aspirin

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Ketoprofen

NSAID Precautions

Throat Pain Pain and Fever Children

Common medications used at home for pain and fever in children with a sore throat include:


Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Throat Pain Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have a sore throat and any of the following:

Continue to Throat Pain Prevention

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Throat Pain References
  1. Cooper RJ, Hoffman JR, Bartlett JG, Besser RE, Gonzales R, Hickner JM, Sande MA; American Academy of Family Physicians; American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine; Centers for Disease Control. Principles of appropriate antibiotic use for acute pharyngitis in adults: background. Ann Intern Med. 2001 Mar 20;134(6):509-17. [11255530]
  2. Del Mar CB, Glasziou PP, Spinks AB. Antibiotics for sore throat. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD000023. [15106140]
  3. McIsaac WJ, Goel V, To T, Low DE. The validity of a sore throat score in family practice. CMAJ. 2000 Oct 3;163(7):811-5. [11033707]
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