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Sore throat

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:

How to gargle with salt water
  1. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water (warm water helps salt dissolve).
  2. Gargle with the solution, then spit it out (do not swallow it).
  3. Repeat as often as you like.

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.

Information:

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: