Best OTC Medicine for Sore Throat

Posted by Avron Anstey on

An infection of the pharynx often causes a sore throat. Almost 90% of these cases are due to viral infections. Fortunately, your body’s immune system can get rid of the virus without any prescription medication. 

There are over the counter sore throat medication to reduce the annoying symptoms so you can get a good night's sleep. There is also non-drowsy medication to reduce throat irritation so you can enjoy the rest of your day. 

With all this in mind, here is some information regarding OTC therapy for sore throat.

Common Causes of Sore Throat

There are a variety of factors that can cause a sore throat. The most common causes are influenza, breathing through the mouth, viral pharyngitis, common cold, strep throat, inhaling smoke or chemical fumes, and drainage from the sinus.

If the symptoms of sore throat continue to get worse despite OTC or other medications, then it’s best to see a doctor and find other underlying causes.


What Can You Expect in OTC Treatment for Sore Throat?

The pharmacist at the local drugstore can assist you in providing insight into the various OTC sore throat medication that is on the market. There are also sugar-free medications that are recommended for diabetic patients. 

Sore throat products can be available in sprays, gargles, Lozenges, pain strips, and much more. There are also OTC medications with an anesthetic property such as dyclonine hydrochloride and Benzocaine which provides temporary relief. There are also antiseptics like hexylresorcinol, cetylpyridinium chloride, and methanol. 

Lozenges are the most commonly used OTC medication for sore throat. There are three types, unmedicated, topical anesthetic, and methanol.


List of the Best OTC Medications for Sore Throat

Here is a list of over-the-counter sore throat medication to decrease your symptoms.

Sound Health Honey Lemon Cough Drop

If you need a quick relief that isn’t going to break your piggy bank, then definitely try to the Sound Health honey lemon cough drops. These delicious cough drops are highly affordable so you can prepare for the next cold season. 

It tastes fantastic and has the active ingredient of methanol which suppresses cough and alleviates the sore throat. The significant part about this medication is that it’s safe for kids ages six and older and it’s gluten-free so that you can share this with your whole family.

Sucrets Sore Throat Lozenges

If you have an annoying cough that you can’t control, then definitely try Sucrets sore throat Lozenges. This can help clear out the mucus and reduce the irritation from the sore throat so you can efficiently communicate and rest for the whole day. 

This medication can provide quick relief as well as the delicious cherry flavor snack that you been craving for. It’s formulated to suppress cough and numb the throat with its Dyclonine hydrochloride ingredient along with methanol for the cooling effect.

The medication also has plenty of zinc and vitamin C to boost your immune system and to fight off the cold. If you don’t like the cherry flavor, you can always go for the honey lemon flavor instead.


If you prefer a cough syrup, then this tasty berry flavored Theraflu is the way to go. This over-the-counter drug can help reduce runny nose, congestion, sneezing, body aches, and headaches. 

TheraFlu place a multi-faceted role to help soothe the sore throat, decrease coughing, and get rid of fever. It contains active ingredients of acetaminophen, diphenhydramine, and pseudoephedrine. 

New Sore Throat OTC Products

The Cepacol Lozenges for sore throat has over 3 mg of anesthetic methanol. This product helps reduce throat irritation and soreness from the mucous drip. It’s a fast pain relief product that helps alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of sore throat. 

There are also other products such as methanol vapor, which reduces nasal congestion and is available in methanol and cherry flavor. 

The Chloraseptic relief strips are fast-acting and have approximately 3 mg of benzocaine and ethanol. All you have to do is place the strips in the back of your throat; it melts in your mouth and gives instant relief.


Alternative Recommendations for Sore Throat

There are other strategies to alleviating sore throat other than OTC medication. The most important one is to drink plenty of fluid or consume popsicle sticks to cool the throat. Some people find that gargling warm salt water helps to soothe the throat. 

You can also use hard candy to increase saliva production to reduce swelling and inflammation of the throat. The most important part is to get plenty of rest and to use a humidifier or cool mist vaporizer in the room to cut down any mucus.


When to See a Doctor

If after using OTC drugs and some of the strategies listed above, and you are still experiencing symptoms or the irritation that is getting worse, then it’s time to see the doctor.

There is a possibility that the sore throat is not caused by a viral infection. It may be caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus. This strain of bacteria is a common cause of strep throat. The symptoms of strep throat are usually sore throat without cough, fever, exudate on your throat, and lymphadenopathy. 

Your doctor may have to do a streptococcal antigen test or a strep culture to diagnose the infection. Once you get the proper diagnosis, your healthcare provider will initiate the proper antibiotic medication.


Takeaway Message

Sore throat is often caused by a viral infection that originates from the common cold or it could be caused by throat irritation from fumes or smoke. Whatever the case is, your body can get rid of the infection and heal itself. 

It’s vital to consider OTC medication to reduce the symptoms, so you get a good night's sleep or feel comfortable throughout the day. After all, rest and comfort can strengthen the immune system to fight off potential infections and to recover quickly. 

However, if the proper OTC drug is not helping as much as you want, then it’s best to see a physician to make sure that this is not a bacterial infection. Keep in mind that bacterial infection will require a prescription antibiotic to eradicate it from the body. With these insights and strategies on a soothing sore throat, you are on your way to a speedy recovery.

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