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Sore throat

A girl with a look of pain on her face clutching her throat which is glowing red
Sore throats are REALLY common. The main cause is an infection, usually from viruses or bacteria. Sore throats almost always get better by themselves, and you do not need to go and see your doctor. Regular paracetamol or ibuprofen (to bring down any fever and make you more comfortable) is all that is usually needed. In addition to a sore throat, you might also feel hot, have some general aches and pains, and have a hoarse voice and a cough. You may also see some white spots (pus) at the back of your throat on your tonsils. Your symptoms may get worse over 2 to 3 days, and then start getting better. Most sore throats have gone completely after a week. In addition to paracetamol/ibuprofen, it is important to drink plenty. Lozenges and sprays which you can get from the chemist may also help soothe the throat. Antibiotics are not usually given as they rarely make any difference to the infection, and may cause side-effects such as diarrhoea. You should, however, go and see your doctor if you are not getting better after a few days, or you are really unwell, or are having problems breathing or swallowing, or are drooling, or in severe pain.