You may not recognise the term pharyngitis, but you are likely to know what we’re talking about when we say sore throat.1,2 Almost anyone from babies to adults can get a sore throat, and there are many reasons why.3,4 Sometimes it’s caused by an infection, usually viruses or less commonly bacteria.5 Only your doctor can test to tell what’s behind those sore throat symptoms of yours.
Generally, a sore throat can be managed at home, but to help relieve sore throat pain, there are different options available including sprays for sore throat.1,5 At your local pharmacy, you’ll find different mouth sprays for sore throat with different features. For example, some sprays contain lidocaine, which may help provide temporary pain relief.6 There are also other throat sprays that contain ingredients to help relieve both pain and inflammation associated with those niggly symptoms.7 In this page, we’ll look at sprays for sore throat pain, especially anaesthetic mouth sprays. We’ll look at how they work to help relieve throat pain.
What is a Throat Spray?
Sprays for sore throat really describe how the medicine is delivered - that is using a spray mechanism to coat the back of the mouth or throat area. Some products will describe how the medicines work, such as a numbing spray for sore throat or anaesthetic throat sprays or even mouth sprays for sore throat. An anaesthetic throat spray contains a numbing agent that is sprayed directly into the mouth to temporarily help relieve sore throat pain.
Are Throat Sprays Effective?
Sore throat sprays are designed to help provide temporary relief from sore throat pain. But there are different options available that tackle pain in different ways. Anaesthetic mouth sprays contain a numbing ingredient such as lidocaine.6 Lidocaine works on the nerves which transmit pain signals to the brain.6 With a mouth spray containing lidocaine, you can apply the numbing action directly to the site of pain.6,8 There are also sore throat sprays that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients to help reduce inflammation, a cause of sore throat pain.7 Of course, sore throat mouth sprays are just one way to help relieve sore throat pain. There are also pain relief tablets or capsules available that can help relieve sore throat pain too.5 Be sure to check what’s in the medicines you are taking, so you don’t double-up on the same types of medications. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you are taking other medicines for pain or if you are unsure.
Why Choose a Throat Spray
Throat sprays for sore throat can offer several advantages for those suffering sore throat pain. They are designed to be easy to use and immediately reach the back of the mouth or throat, which is where sore throat pain hits.
Easy to Use
Sore throat sprays are usually simple and easy to use, as all that’s needed is to remove the cap and spray in the mouth as per manufacturer’s instructions. Sore throat sprays are also topical, that is, once sprayed in the mouth the ingredients are then absorbed through the skin/mucosal surface.
Sore throat sprays are usually compact and easy to stick in a purse, bag or even pocket. They are also quite well sealed and are unlikely to leak when being carried.
No Mess, No accidental spillings of spoons or syringes, no sticky syrup everywhere
Compared with other options like syrups, sore throat sprays don’t need to be taken with spoons or syringes. The pump action ejects a spray stream directly into the mouth and throat area. So for a low-mess convenient option, a sore throat spray may be for you.
How Fast Does a Sore Throat Spray Work?
How fast a spray for sore throat will work really depends on the formulation and the medicines used. Different products can have varying ingredients, most of them are designed to provide pain relief as needed. 10 While some ingredients you might see on a spray for sore throat are there to help temporarily relieve pain, in other cases the active ingredient also relieves inflammation.6,7,11 Two ingredients that are often used in sprays for sore throat are flurbiprofen, or lidocaine.6,7,11 Flurbiprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) which helps reduce pain and inflammation.6,11 Lidocaine is an anaesthetic which can help pain relief through a numbing effect.6 If you are looking for a spray for sore throat, you can speak with your doctor or pharmacist to get further advice on which product might be best suited to your needs.
Find Relief with Strepsils
Most people may be familiar with Strepsils lozenges, but did you know that Strepsils also offer a spray for sore throat too? The Strepsils Plus Anaesthetic throat spray comes in a convenient and compact 20mL size, providing up to 154 sprays for sore throat pain relief. So next time you are suffering from a sore throat, look for Strepsils Plus Anaesthetic throat spray, and ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.
When to see a doctor
Whilst a sore throat can generally be managed at home, seek immediate medical advice if symptoms get worse, don’t start getting any better within a few days or you or someone in your family experience any of the following:1
- muffled voice
- noisy breathing or high-pitched wheezing
- difficulty moving the jaw
- neck swelling
- spasm in neck muscles
- severe neck pain
- throat pain on one side only
- breathing difficulties
- any other symptoms that concern you.
Sore Throat. In: Therapeutic Guidelines [digital]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; Aug. 2022 [cited Oct. 2022]. Access from: https://www.tg.org.au
Muller D, et al. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2016: 273; 2591–97
Sykes EA. Can Fam Physician. 2020: 66(4); 251–57
National Library of medicine. StatPearls Publishing LLC [Internet]. Pharyngitis. Treasure island (FL). Last Update: May. 2022 [Accessed Oct. 2022]. Access from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519550/
Australian Medicines Handbook 2022 [online]. Mouth and Throat. Adelaide: Australian Medicines Handbook Pty Ltd; 2022 July. [Accessed Oct. 2022]. Available from: https://amhonline.amh.net.au/
Beechan GB, et al. National Library of medicine. StatPearls Publishing LLC [Internet]. Lidocaine. Treasure island (FL). Last Update: Dec. 2021 [Accessed Oct. 2022]. Access from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539881/
de Looze F, et al. Eur J Gen Pract. 2016;22(2):111-8
Kumar M, et al. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2015; 31(4): 450–56
Banishashem N, et al. Iran J Otorhinolaryngol. 2015; (80):179-84
Veale D, et al. Curt. Drug Deliv. 2017;14(5):725-33
de Looze F, et al. J Pain Res. 2019;12: 3477-09
This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice.
Strepsils: For temporary relief of sore throats and symptoms of inflammation.
Always read the label and follow the directions for use.