The Independent Pharmacy

The Best Treatment For A Sore Throat

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 30 Oct 2023

A sore throat can disrupt your daily routines and overall well-being, making even simple tasks feel burdensome. Fortunately, there are many effective over-the-counter medications, natural remedies, and preventive steps you can take to find relief fast.

When you're looking for the best sore throat treatment and don't have any medication on hand, you could try to keep yourself hydrated with herbal teas or give a go to steam inhalation and salt water gargling. But at The Independent Pharmacy, we stock a number of products that can help you to find fast relief - from Strepsils Sore Throat and cough Lozenges to TCP Antiseptic Liquid.

We know how difficult living with a sore throat can be. So, we're here to support you along the way and help you to find the right sore throat treatment for you.

Over-the-Counter Solutions

Strepsils Sore Throat & Cough Lozenges

Strepsils Sore Throat & Cough Lozenges provide fast-acting and soothing relief for painful sore throats. These medicated lozenges contain active ingredients that can help numb sore throat pain within minutes. As the lozenge dissolves slowly in the mouth, the ingredients form a protective coating over the irritated membranes of the throat. This helps relieve inflammation and discomfort.

Strepsils lozenges also contain menthol and honey lemon flavours for an extra soothing experience. The cooling vapours of menthol bring a refreshing sensation, while honey soothes irritation. Regular use of Strepsils can temporarily relieve common sore throat symptoms caused by colds, flu, allergies, or infections. The convenient portable pack makes Strepsils easy to use whenever throat pain strikes.

Strepsils Sore Throat & Cough Lozenges
Strepsils Sore Throat & Cough Lozenges
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Difflam Rinse & Spray

Difflam products provide targeted sore throat relief with an active ingredient that reduces pain and swelling. This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug helps reduce throat pain and swelling when sprayed or rinsed directly on the irritated area. Difflam throat spray can reach the toughest parts of the throat to decrease inflammation and discomfort. For a deeper treatment, Difflam rinse can be swished around the mouth and gargled for maximum effectiveness.

Both Difflam spray and rinse offer fast-acting, temporary relief when used every 1.5 to 3 hours as needed. The direct application helps numb and soothe sore throat pain caused by infections, mouth ulcers, colds, or irritants. Just a few sprays or a quick rinse can make swallowing much more comfortable until the sore throat runs its course.

Difflam Rinse & Spray
Difflam Rinse & Spray
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Ultra Chloraseptic Spray

When you need relief fast, Ultra Chloraseptic Spray can deliver. This sore throat spray contains an ingredient that provides rapid relief by numbing the throat. With just a few quick sprays to the back of the throat, Ultra Chloraseptic starts working in seconds to stop throat discomfort.

The numbing effect comes from benzocaine blocking pain receptors in the throat. This provides temporary relief for common sore throat causes like colds, flu, allergies, or laryngitis. The spray formulation coats the throat area thoroughly for maximum effectiveness. Ultra Chloraseptic is available in menthol or cherry flavours for a more pleasing experience. With over 100 sprays per bottle, it provides lasting relief that can be carried and used on the go.

Ultra Chloraseptic Spray
Ultra Chloraseptic Spray
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TCP Antiseptic Liquid

TCP Antiseptic Liquid is a dual-threat product that both eases sore throat pain and fights infection. The active ingredients halogenated phenols and phenol have antiseptic properties that restrict bacterial growth in the throat. This helps reduce inflammation that causes soreness and pain. TCP can be diluted and gargled to coat the throat for a soothing, antiseptic effect.

In addition to sore throats, TCP can be used to manage pain from mouth ulcers, prevent infection in cuts and scrapes, and treat spots and blemishes. The versatile liquid comes in a convenient bottle for household use. Just a few drops diluted in water can provide throat relief when symptoms flare up.

TCP Antiseptic Liquid
TCP Antiseptic Liquid
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Natural and Home Remedies

In addition to over-the-counter medications, there are several natural sore throat remedies you can try right at home to find relief:

Honey and Warm Water

Honey has natural antibacterial and soothing properties that can coat and calm an irritated throat when dissolved in warm water. The viscous consistency allows the honey to coat the throat for a prolonged effect. Sipping a hot honey-infused drink slowly enables the sweet, syrupy liquid to work its magic. The warmth also helps relax throat muscles, while honey's anti-inflammatory effects ease swelling and irritation.

Saltwater Gargle

Gargling with warm, salty water can help reduce throat swelling and flush out irritants that may be aggravating your throat. The salt helps by drawing out some fluid from the inflamed tissues in the throat, which decreases swelling and soreness. To make a saltwater gargle at home, mix together 1 cup of warm water with 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until fully dissolved.

Herbal Teas

Soothing teas made with herbs like liquorice root, marshmallow root, or chamomile can ease throat discomfort in different ways. The warmth of the tea helps relax throat muscles. Meanwhile, certain herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling. Others coat the throat for a soothing sensation. Sip herbal teas slowly to allow the fluids and botanicals to work their magic.

Steam Inhalation

Breathing moist, warm air from a steam inhalation treatment can moisturise and calm sore nasal passages and throats. Inhaling steam thins out mucus, allowing coughs to be more productive. It also delivers warmth, which relieves sinus pressure and congestion to open airways. To perform steam inhalation, fill a large bowl with hot water. Drape a towel over your head and carefully lean over the bowl to breathe in the vapours for 5-10 minutes.

Maintenance and Prevention

We recognise that while treatments can offer immediate relief, you might be seeking ways to prevent the recurrence of sore throats and ensure long-term comfort:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids each day. Keeping the throat moist and well-lubricated can prevent irritation.
  • Use a humidifier at home and work to maintain a comfortable moisture level. Dry indoor air can dehydrate the throat and increase soreness.
  • Avoid irritants like cigarette smoke that can aggravate the throat. Secondhand smoke, in particular, should be prevented.
  • Practice good oral hygiene through regular tooth brushing and flossing. Bacteria from gum disease can spread and cause throat infections.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water. This minimises the spread of contagious bacteria and viruses that cause sore throats.

How to Choose the Right Treatment

With so many sore throat relief options available, how do you choose what’s right for you? Here are some tips:

  • Assess your symptoms - are they severe or mild? Severe throat pain may require stronger medicated lozenges or sprays. Mild soreness can be treated with home remedies.
  • Consider how long you’ve had the sore throat. Lingering pain for more than a week likely requires medical attention to check for underlying issues.
  • Factor in any medical conditions you may have and how they interact with certain ingredients. For example, if you have high blood pressure, avoid decongestant sprays (sprays that help you clear a stuffy nose).
  • Choose immediate relief solutions like numbing throat sprays if needing to function is critical. Use soothing lozenges and teas if you can rest at home.
  • Weigh the benefits of symptom-specific formulas against broad-acting multi-ingredient ones based on your needs.
  • Compare active ingredients and their mechanisms of action. Select options with properties ideal for your symptoms.
  • Balance fast-acting treatments with options that promote long-term healing like herbal teas. Use both as needed.

Consult your pharmacist or doctor if you need help deciding what sore throat remedies are suitable for you.

Safety and Precautions

While most sore throat treatments are safe for short-term use, be sure to take these precautions:

  • Check all ingredients and avoid any you may be allergic to. Discontinue use if irritation develops.
  • Follow dosing instructions carefully, especially when giving medications to children. More is not necessarily better.
  • Do not take multiple treatments with the same active ingredients to avoid accidental overdose.
  • Seek medical guidance about any interactions with medications you take for other conditions.
  • Discontinue use and seek medical attention if symptoms last more than 1-2 weeks or get progressively worse.
  • Seek emergency care for severe throat swelling or pain that makes breathing difficult.

Your health and well-being are paramount. Please don't hesitate to consult a doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns. We're here to support and guide you. Proper treatment can quickly relieve sore throat discomfort when selected and used with care.

Take the Next Step With The Independent Pharmacy

The Independent Pharmacy has everything you need to help treat painful sore throats when they occur and stop them before they start. Our comprehensive range of over-the-counter medications and other products provide solutions for all your sore throat needs.

With fast shipping and advice from accredited pharmacists, we make it easy to find the right treatments for your symptoms and take control of your health. You deserve to live without the constant discomfort of a sore throat. Allow us at The Independent Pharmacy to assist you in finding the best solutions and comfort you seek. Contact us or browse our sore throat selection to take the next step toward recovery.


How do I get rid of a sore throat quickly?

Some of the fastest-acting sore throat treatments are oral numbing sprays containing benzocaine or other anaesthetics. A few sprays to the back of the throat can provide temporary relief within minutes. Throat lozenges and gargling with salt water can also help speed relief.

What kills a sore throat virus?

There are no treatments that directly kill sore throat viruses. Most viruses must run their course. Bacterial infections causing sore throats can be treated with antibiotics. For viral sore throats, manage symptoms with pain relievers, rest, hydration, and throat-soothing remedies.

What is the best pain reliever for a sore throat?

Paracetamol and ibuprofen can relieve sore throat pain. Aspirin is not recommended for those under 18 years old due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious condition that affects the liver and brain. Topical numbing sprays like Chloraseptic provide the fastest targeted pain relief.

What are the 4 symptoms of strep throat?

Common symptoms of a strep throat infection include severe throat pain, tender swollen glands, fever, headache, fatigue, and white patches or pus spots on the tonsils. A strep test can confirm.

What kills a sore throat fast overnight home remedies?

Drinking honey and lemon in hot water before bed can coat and soothe an irritated throat through the night. Saltwater gargles, soothing teas, throat sprays, or lozenges right before sleep may also provide overnight relief.

How long must a sore throat last?

Viral sore throats typically last 3-7 days. Strep throat lasts around 1 week with antibiotics or 2+ weeks without. See a doctor if a severe sore throat lasts over two weeks or gets worse instead of better over time.


Sore throat - NHS (

Rapid relief of acute sore throat with AMC/DCBA throat lozenges: randomised controlled trial - PMC (

Respiratory symptoms and inflammatory responses to Difflam throat-spray intervention in half-marathon runners: a randomised controlled trial - PubMed (

Promethazine: drowsy (sedating) antihistamine that relieves allergy symptoms - NHS (

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Rinsing with Saline Promotes Human Gingival Fibroblast Wound Healing In Vitro | PLOS ONE

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