Skip to main content
Toggle Mobile Menu

Helping the people of Leicester to have long and healthy lives.

Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group

Sore throat

Sore throat can last for a week.

They’re usually nothing to worry about and get better by themselves.

Antibiotics won’t usually help.

A sore throat can last for a week. It’s usually nothing to worry about and will get better by itself.

Symptoms include:

  • a painful throat, especially when you swallow
  • a dry, scratchy throat
  • redness in the back of the mouth
  • bad breath
  • a mild cough
  • swollen neck glands

Most sore throats are caused by a virus (like cold or flu). Very occasionally, bacteria will be the cause. Antibiotics won’t usually help, unless it’s a bacterial infection.

Rest as much as possible, drink plenty of water, eat cool or soft foods.

To soothe the pain:

  • suck ice cubes, ice lollies or medicated lozenges
  • gargle with warm salty water. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm (not hot) boiled water
  • take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen

Seek medical advice if:

  • you are unable to swallow, or you are drooling because you cannot even swallow your own saliva
  • your sore throat does not improve after a week
  • you often get sore throats
  • you have a sore throat and a very high temperature, or you feel hot and shivery
  • you have a weakened immune system

Related content