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Strep Throat: Home Treatment

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There are many ways that you can make yourself feel better while you are waiting for a strep throat to go away.

Fluids and moisture

To increase fluids in the body:

  • Prevent dehydration by drinking fluids. Fluids may help thin secretions and soothe an irritated throat. Hot fluids, such as tea or soup, may help reduce throat irritation.
  • Gargle with warm salt water to help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort.
    • Gargle at least once each hour with 1 tsp (5 g) salt in 8 fl oz (237 mL) of warm water.
    • If you have postnasal drip, gargle often to prevent throat irritation.
  • Use saline nasal sprays and nose drops to moisten the inside of your nose.

To increase moisture in the air (humidity):

  • Use a vaporizer or humidifier in your bedroom.
    • Warm or cool mist may help you feel more comfortable by soothing the swollen air passages. It may also relieve hoarseness. But don't let your room become uncomfortably cold or very damp.
    • If you don't have a humidifier, use a shallow pan of water to provide moisture in the air through evaporation. Place the pan in a safe location where no one will trip on it or fall into it.
  • Take frequent, steamy showers.
  • Drape a towel over your head and breathe the steam from a pan or sink of hot water. Be careful to avoid burns from the hot water or steam.

Nonprescription medicine

Nonprescription medicines that relieve pain may help relieve some symptoms of strep throat, but they will not make you better any faster.

  • Acetaminophen will help relieve pain and reduce fever caused by strep throat.
  • Aspirin or ibuprofen will also help. Follow all directions on the label. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor's advice about what amount to give. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20, because it has been linked to Reye syndrome.
  • Anesthetic throat sprays numb the throat area to help relieve pain.
  • Nonprescription throat lozenges can also help you feel better.
    • Some nonprescription throat lozenges, such as Sucrets Maximum Strength or Spec-T, are safe and effective and have medicine (local anesthetic) that numbs the throat to soothe pain.
    • Regular cough drops or hard candies help some people.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 02, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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