What can I use for my sore throat? (remedies that work!)

First of all: Rest assured that most sore throats resolve within 7 days! You just have to be patient.

However, if you have a sore throat with symptoms such as a temp of 38°C or higher, a hard time swallowing or breathing, or have a rash…since these could point to strep throat or COVID-19.- so -you should get tested and get a “clearer picture”

Focus on fluids and rest. Ice chips…warm broth…hard candy…or a saltwater gargle is your “go-to” home remedy. A hot shower or cool-mist humidifier can also be of benefit.

Look around your home for honey to coat your throat… You can use up to 2 teaspoons at bedtime or as needed…especially if there is a nagging cough

MisterPharmacist Tip: Avoid honey in kids under 1 year due to botulism risk and potential risk of allergy.

MisterPharmacist Tip 2: Analgesics like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or an NSAID (Advil®) can be used if needed. You can find these in any Toronto drugstore

Lozenges, sprays, or gargles may give you short-term relief and work faster than oral analgesics. Try them!

If you want a lozenge or topical, ask a MisterPharmacist Pharmacist… most have a mix of ingredients and he can point out possible risks.

For example, menthol (Vicks VapoDrops, etc) or pectin (Luden’s Throat Drops, etc) are “soothing”…and benzocaine (Cepacol, etc), or phenol (Chloraseptic spray, etc) are “numbing.”

But benzocaine product labels warn of rare methemoglobinemia (Methemoglobinemia is a blood disorder in which too little oxygen is delivered to your cells).. Avoid these in children under 2…and seek emergency care for symptoms, such as blue skin, confusion, or breathing problems.

Caution that the new Betadine® Sore Throat Gargle (povidone/iodine) may stain dentures, braces, or dental work…and contains iodine, so it shouldn’t be used if patients have a thyroid disorder.

Some supplements (slippery elm, zinc, etc) are thought to coat the throat and can help a little too..