Home / Our Services / Mayo Clinic Health Information

Sore throat

Self-care

Drink plenty of liquids, gargle with warm saltwater, and if over 4 years old, try sucking on lozenges. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen may ease pain. Don't give children aspirin.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a doctor immediately if:

  • Drooling or difficulty swallowing
  • Trouble breathing

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

  • Child with sore throat that doesn't get better after drinking liquids
  • Adult with sore throat lasting a week or more
  • Fever, rash, or joint pain
  • Blood in phlegm or saliva

© 1998-2018 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved.
Terms of Use