October 4, 2022

Does Ibruprofen Help With a Sore Throat?

A sore throat can be uncomfortable and distracting. Feeling a surge of pain every time you talk or swallow makes it hard to concentrate on other activities. Also, a sore throat may be a sign that you’re coming down with an illness or infection. Other symptoms may follow quickly on the heels of a sore throat.

You may want to reach for over-the-counter medicine to reduce the discomfort in your throat. Some common medicines can provide temporary relief from sore throat pain, including ibuprofen. However, they probably won’t solve the underlying cause of a sore throat. Learn more about the medications and treatments for sore throats, as well as the common causes of sore throats.


What is the best over-the-counter medicine for sore throat?

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin are among the most commonly used medicine. They’re available in stores and pharmacies under brand names like Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, Aleve, and Excedrin. You can also buy generic versions that contain the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs. They’re effective for treating muscle pain, joint pain, pain from injuries, and aches and pains due to illness.

Other cold medicines, such as Mucinex, contain ingredients that help with congestion. They are less effective at treating pain, but they may improve other symptoms.

Dosing for adults and children is different. Always ask your doctor before giving medications to children.

Does Advil help with a sore throat?

Ibuprofen, often sold under the brand name Advil, is part of a class of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). It works by blocking the production of the hormones that cause inflammation. They don’t inhibit the healing process, but by reducing prostaglandin, they reduce the pain signals from the affected area. Advil usually relieves pain for 6 to 8 hours.


Does Tylenol help with a sore throat?

Acetaminophen is the main ingredient in pain relievers like Tylenol. It’s an analgesic that relieves pain, though experts aren’t exactly sure how it works. Researchers think it inhibits the pathway for pain signals to reach the brain. It doesn’t reduce inflammation. Instead, it reduces the level of pain. Tylenol helps with pain for 4 to 6 hours.

Does Aleve help with a sore throat?

Aleve is another NSAID. It contains an active ingredient called naproxen. It also reduces inflammation and prostaglandin production and can effectively relieve throat pain. Naproxen works up to 12 hours, so you won’t need to take it as often.


Does Excedrin help with a sore throat?

Excedrin is a pain reliever that is usually associated with treating headaches. It contains a combination of acetaminophen and aspirin. Aspirin is an NSAID that can help pain like ibuprofen or naproxen. Some formulations of Excedrin contain caffeine as well. Ask your doctor before taking Excedrin for sore throat pain.

Does Mucinex help with a sore throat?

Mucinex is a medicine containing an active ingredient called guaifenesin. Guaifenesin thins mucus or phlegm, making it less sticky. The thinner mucus is easier to clear, so it can relieve a stuffy nose and cough. Unless you get a formulation that contains a pain reliever, it won’t directly affect a sore throat. Clearing mucus might prevent coughing and reduce irritation, giving your throat a chance to feel better.


Treating a Sore Throat

If you have a sore throat, it’s probably because of an infection or irritation to the delicate tissue in your throat. You might notice sore throat symptoms such as:

  • Pain or a scratchy sensation
  • Pain that increases with swallowing or talking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen or sore glands
  • Red, inflamed tonsils
  • White patches on your tonsils
  • A hoarse voice

If the pain of a sore throat is bothering you, you can take OTC pain relievers or NSAIDs to relieve the discomfort. They will reduce pain and make it easier to talk and swallow.

Pain relievers won’t fix the underlying cause of a sore throat. Sore throats are typical symptoms of an infection, and drugs like acetaminophen, naproxen, aspirin, and ibuprofen can’t treat infections. It’s important to understand the reason for your sore throat to decide if you need treatment other than pain relief.


Causes of Sore Throats

Viral infection: Most sore throats are caused by mild viral infections like colds. Viruses cause inflammation in the nose and throat, which can be painful. In addition, the virus might lead to increase mucus production that drips down the back of your throat. This post-nasal drip can be irritating and cause discomfort. Most mild viral infections last about seven days and clear up on their own. You can treat symptoms such as pain, fever, coughing, and congestion with ibuprofen and other OTC cold medicines such as Mucinex. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about what medicines are appropriate to take with ibuprofen.

Bacterial infection: Bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes can infect the tissue in the throat, causing “strep throat.” The infection leads to pain and inflammation in the throat. Ibuprofen will reduce the pain, but strep infections often require prescription antibiotics. To diagnose strep throat, your doctor will take a swab of cells from the throat and test the sample for the presence of bacteria. They can prescribe an appropriate medicine to treat the infection.

Allergies: Seasonal allergies cause a lot of the same congestion, inflammation, and nasal drip as viral infections. You may find that pollen causes sore throat symptoms even though you don’t have a cold. You can use ibuprofen to relieve pain and swelling. You can also take OTC allergy medicines to reduce your response to environmental allergens. Talk to our doctor about which medications will help clear up allergies.

Muscle strain: it is possible to overwork the muscles in your throat. Talking, yelling, or singing for long periods can lead to muscle strain. You might notice throat pain, and your voice might become hoarse. Rest is often the best cure for this kind of pain, along with ibuprofen to relieve discomfort. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about muscle strain in your throat.

Irritation: You can hurt the tissue in your throat by swallowing or inhaling something irritating. Spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, or chewing tobacco can irritate your throats. Inhaling smoke, pollution, or chemical fumes can also lead to irritation. Ibuprofen can ease the pain from irritation. If you are concerned that you have injured your throat due to exposure to a substance, call your doctor for advice.

Call your doctor if you have any questions about medicines or other ways to treat a sore throat. They can help you decide on the best treatment plan.


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