OTC drugs (over-the-counter drugs) Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve). Benzocaine (Cepacol Extra Strength Sore Throat Sugar Free, Chloraseptic Warming Sore Throat Lozenges) Dyclonine (Sucrets Sore Throat Lozenges) Menthol (Halls Triple Action Soothing Drops, Vicks Vapo Drops) Phenol (Chloraseptic Sore Throat Spray
How Effective Are They? Pain relievers help. Benzocaine, dyclonine, and phenol work as local anesthetics, and menthol provides a cooling sensation in your throat. Medicated lozenges may work longer than the sprays.
What are the risks? High does of benzocaine and dyclonine might in rare cases cause lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fatigue, or rapid heart rate. For the risks of pain relievers, OTC drugs for aches and fever.
What they can interact with: None known for phenol or benzocaine lozenge. Menthol drops make bleeding more likely with warfarin. For pain relievers, see drugs for aches and fever.
Home Remedies: Gargling with salt water It’s inexpensive, safe, and time-tested. Dissolve 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt into an 8-ounce glass of warm water, gargle in the back of the throat, then spit. Repeat a few times a day.
Source: CR (Consumer Reports) magazine January 2018
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