Treating a Sore Throat Caused by Post-Nasal Drip

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Treating a Sore Throat Caused by Post-Nasal Drip

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  • Gargle with warm salt water to help get rid of throat soreness. You can make the saltwater mixture by stirring 5 g (1 tsp) of salt into 240 mL (8 fl oz) of lukewarm water. Gargle as often as you like. The more often, the better.
  • Drink more fluids to soothe a sore throat. Honey and lemon in weak tea may help. (Do not give honey to children younger than 1 year.)
  • Take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or ASA to help the pain go away. Do not give ASA to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.

Clean the inside of the nose with salt water. This may help reduce post-nasal drip. Try this recipe for a saltwater solution. You may also purchase a saline solution at your pharmacy.

Gently squirt the solution into your nose. Aim the water toward the back, not the top, of your head. The water will run through the nasal passages and into the back of your throat. Spit it out through your mouth. It will not hurt you if you swallow some of the water. To squirt the solution, you can:

  • Use an all-rubber ear syringe, which you can buy at a drug store.
  • Use a medical syringe without the needle.
  • Use a Water Pik, set on "low."
  • Pour the solution into your hand and "snuff" it up through your nose, one nostril at a time.

Related Information


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised June 22, 2011

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