Sore throats are very common and usually nothing to worry about. They normally get better by themselves within a week.
To help soothe a sore throat and shorten how long it lasts, you can:
You can ask a pharmacist about ways of relieving the pain and discomfort of a sore throat, such as:
You can buy these treatments from a supermarket or from a pharmacist without a prescription.
Call your pharmacy or contact them online before going in person. You can get medicines delivered or ask someone to collect them.
You do not normally need antibiotics for a sore throat because they will not usually relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.
They'll only be prescribed if a GP thinks you could have a bacterial infection.
If you have a sore throat you might have:
The symptoms are similar for children, but children can also get a temperature and appear less active.
Sore throats are usually caused by viruses (like cold or flu) or from smoking. Very occasionally they can be caused by bacteria.
A sore throat can also be caused by: