Sore throat



Get enough sleep, drink plenty of fluids and gargle with warm saltwater. If over 4 years old, try sucking on cough drops, also known as lozenges, or hard candy. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may ease pain. Don't give children aspirin.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a health care provider right away if:

  • A child has trouble swallowing.
  • A child is drooling.
  • A child has trouble breathing.

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a provider if a child's sore throat doesn't get better after drinking fluids or if an adult has problems such as:

  • A sore throat that has lasted a week or longer.
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing.
  • A fever, rash or joint pain.
  • Bloody mucus.
  • A lump in the neck.