Very Sore Throat

Updated on March 10, 2011
D.C. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
15 answers

Hi All,
I've got the flu, and with it a very sore throat. I'm taking tylenol, drinking hot tea with honey and using a saltwater gargle. I've tried throat lozenges and spray. None of it is really helping. Any great remedies I'm missing?

I'm avoiding going to the Dr because I know they'll prescribe antibiotics. I don't want this because 1) it's a virus and they won't help 2) then I'll have an upset stomach too and 3) I'm breastfeeding my baby so we'll both end up with thrush.

What works for you?


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So What Happened?

For all those concerned - I went to the doc, and as I suspected, I do not have strep, just a virus.

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

As a person who has had strep non stop since November 2010 (and still have it). I posted recently on this , you need to get a strep test to rule it out , if it is strep it does need antibiotics , if left untreated it can lead to Rheumatic Fever (which I am now showing symptoms of). So go get the test , the last thing you need is a newborn with strep aswell.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Columbia on

Can you take ibuprofen? For me, it seems more effective on throat pain than acetaminophen. It reduces swelling more, which reduces the pain. Acetaminophen treats the pain but not the inflammation. I also like to sip on chicken broth or some kind of soup that is a little salty, It get the salt further in your throat than gargling salt water, and it sure tastes better!
I hope you get well soon!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Please don't avoid the doctor. You may just have bad drainage into your throat, but you also could have strep, which if left untreated can be extremely serious (and you could pass it to others, including your baby, for whom it would be even more serious). You do need antibiotics if it's strep, thrush or no thrush. Rule out strep now and move on from there, but if you wait, it can indeed, as someone else posted, turn into scarlet fever. Again -- a risk to your baby worse than thrush would ever be.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I would advise a dr visit for a culture to rule out strep.

If you do have it and end up on an anti-eat yogurt and take a probiotic to help keep your system balanced and help avoid thrush, etc.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You may have strep throat which could possibly turn into scarlet fever (happened to my husband last year). You may wish to see a doctor just in case it is strep. The flu can wear down your immune system, making you susceptible to other infections.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The only thing that helped my recent very sore throat was gargling Orajel Antiseptic Mouth Sore Rinse. The active ingredient is hyrdrogen peroxide so you could use that - the Orajel tastes better :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

get a strep test. There is a huge difference between a sore and strep throat-esp in adults. Strep is extremely painful and sore is uncomfortable. If it is as sore as you are saying then it very well could be strep. You CAN have both the flu and strep at the same time.

I know someone that almost had to go on kidney dialysis because of untreated strep. IT is not something to mess around with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

I'll agree with the others here that seeing the doctor is important to rule out strep throat. Meanwhile - I've had some success in the past with apple cider vinegar. (You need to make sure it's RAW apple cider vinegar - the label will say "with the mother" on it, and it will look cloudy.)
(You'll have to copy and paste the link to make it work, I imagine...if you can't get it to work, I can try sending the link via a private message.)

Also helpful: fresh grated or thinly sliced ginger root and fresh squeezed lemon juice (and/or a slice of lemon) steeped in hot water with a touch of honey.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Throat Coat tea worked well for me last month I had the crud real bad and a very raw throat. Vitamin C drops (like a cough drop.)

There is some strep throat going around, so if it's not better soon, you should see a doc for the strep test.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You may have strep which you do not want to ignore. Please go to the doctor for your sake as well as your family's. They will be able to tell you the root cause and treat you appropriately. Make sure you mention that you are breastfeeding so that they can give you a safe antibiotic (if it is necessary). I never had thrush while breastfeeding and taking antibiotics so don't assume you will.

I have been fighting a sore throat for a few days now. Drinking warm things and taking ibuprofen has made it livable but I will be seeing the doctor when he is back in tomorrow (so I am not being a hypocrite ;-)

Please take care of yourself because it is very hard to care for little ones when you aren't feeling well yourself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Hi, Diane:

Antibiotics are substances that destroy bacteria or inhibit their growth. Antibiotics are penicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline that are used to treat infectious diseases. They are not viral in nature.

Go to the Doc and make sure you don't have an infection in your throat.
If you have an infection, ask for penicillin if you are not allegic to it because it is the cheapest medicine around.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Saginaw on

Strep is going around like crazy.....I'd at least go get it looked at. You can explain your worries to the dr and see what they suggest the best route is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You may have strep and need antibiotics. Go and have a culture done.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I too have a very sore throat, but I think mine is from drainage. I did go to the doctor on Friday and they said it was fine looking. It hurt so bad I thought I had strep. :( I'm not sure how antibiotics will cause thrush though. I did a milk shake diet and am still drinking them. If nothing else it numbs mu throat for a little bit for some relief.



answers from Pittsburgh on

yes, it could be strep, go rule it out. Just tell the doctor you only want antibiotics if it is strep. Besides, a doctor can't force you to take medicine, he can only prescribe it. But strep needs treated with antibiotics or it could lead to something worse. And you certainly don't want to pass it on to your baby. Look back in your throat and see if you can see some white spots. That is usually indicative of an infection, but not always so please go to the doctor.

I have taken antibiotics several times while breastfeeding and neither one of us (with either of my kids) ever got thrush or a yeast infection. I take probiotics and eat yogurt and i also give my baby the probiotic baby jarrowdophilus (i get it at vitaminshoppe). you can give that as young as newborns. i've also given florastor for kids if they are eating baby food or juice. You can get that at any pharmacy rite aid, cvs, walgreens, etc but you have to ask for it, they keep it behind the counter although it doesn't require a prescription (my pediatrician recommended it).

if you do test positive, I'd get your baby tested as well.

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