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Pharyngitis Treatments

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Treating pharyngitis

Most sore throats (medically called pharyngitis) get better on their own, but there are some at-home remedies you can try to help relieve a sore throat and cold symptoms. It’s important to drink a lot of fluids to stay hydrated.

Warm tea and honey can be soothing. There are also some OTC products you can try, like medicated throat lozenges or sprays with “numbing” ingredients like menthol and benzocaine. You can also take OTC pain relievers for a sore throat like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

Pharyngitis treatment next steps

Call your healthcare provider if you have certain symptoms, like fever, white spots or streaks on the back of your throat, or swollen lymph glands. You may have strep throat, which needs to be treated with antibiotics. Children are more likely to develop strep throat than adults.

Call your pediatrician if your child is not eating or drinking, they’re losing weight, or if the sore throat lasts more than a few days.

You may also need to be tested for COVID.

Go to the ER if you have difficulty swallowing, swelling at the back of your throat, or are having difficulty breathing.

Medical tests & labs

If your doctor thinks you may have strep throat, they will do a strep test by swabbing the back of your throat.

Depending on the results, a doctor will discuss what medications you should try and other ways to treat the problem.

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All treatments for pharyngitis

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