Sore throat treatment available online today

In order to treat your sore throat, consult with one of our board-certified doctors online today to get a prescription to treat your scratchy or painful throat. Get a new prescription to treat a sore throat or refill an existing prescription today.*

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Effective prescriptions for sore throats

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of sore throat. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Learn about sore throats

A sore throat (pharyngitis) causes discomfort, pain, or scratchiness in the throat. A sore throat can also make it harder to swallow, causing your throat to feel dry and tender.

Sore throats are among the most common health problems, especially during the winter season. In most cases, sore throats are caused by infections, such as the common cold and flu. Although sore throat symptoms can be painful, most sore throats go away within a few days.

Sore throat causes

  • Pharyngitis is caused by swelling in the back of your throat (pharynx) between your tonsils and voice box (larynx). Sore throats can be caused by several conditions, including:

    • The common cold, seasonal flu, mononucleosis, and other viral infections

    • Strep throat and other bacterial infections

    • Environmental factors, such as dry air or allergens

    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

    • Repeatedly straining the vocal cords by singing, yelling, or screaming

Symptoms of sore throat

  • Sore throat symptoms can vary depending on the cause of the sore throat. The most common symptoms of a sore throat include:

    • Throat pain, scratchiness, or tenderness

    • Pain that worsens when swallowing or talking

    • Sore, swollen lymph nodes around your neck and jaw

    • Pus, tiny red spots, or white patches on your tonsils

    • A hoarse or muffled voice

    If your sore throat is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, you might also experience other symptoms, such as:

    • Fever

    • Body aches

    • Headache

    • Sneezing

    • Cough

    • Nausea or vomiting

How to treat a sore throat

Most sore throats are caused by viral infections and can be treated with simple home remedies. To relieve your sore throat symptoms at home:

  • Gargle with warm salt water several times a day.

  • Drink warm liquids, such as hot tea with honey, soup broth, or warm water with lemon.

  • Soothe your throat pain by eating cold foods, such as popsicles.

  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

  • Minimize talking to rest your voice until your throat feels better.

  • Drink plenty of water and rest until your sore throat improves.

  • Suck on throat lozenges and cough drops to relieve pain.

  • Try over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen, to relieve pain.

Sore throat medications

  • Depending on the underlying cause of your sore throat, you might take over-the-counter or prescription medications as part of your treatment plan. Some effective medications for pharyngitis include:

    • Over-the-counter pain relievers: Acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and aspirin can relieve pain. Avoid giving aspirin to children, as it has been linked with Reye's syndrome.

    • Antibiotic prescriptions: If your sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, such as streptococcal bacteria, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic treatment to fight the infection. For example, some common strep throat treatment plans include penicillin and amoxicillin (Amoxil).

How to avoid a sore throat

It's not always possible to prevent a sore throat. However, there are preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water.

  • Avoid close contact with people who have respiratory infections, strep throat, or sore throat symptoms.

  • If you smoke, consider smoking cessation treatment to quit smoking.

  • Reduce your exposure to environmental triggers, such as chemicals, irritants, and secondhand smoke, as much as possible.

When to see a doctor for a sore throat

Sore throats caused by viral infections will improve on their own within three to seven days. However, some causes of pharyngitis, such as bacterial infections, require treatment.

If your sore throat symptoms don't improve within seven days, talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Your doctor may ask about your symptoms, perform a physical exam, or swab your throat to determine the cause of your sore throat. If your doctor determines that you have a bacterial infection, they'll prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:

  • Severe throat pain

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing

  • Difficulty opening your mouth

  • Sore joints

  • A fever higher than 101 °F

  • Neck pain or stiffness

  • Blood in your phlegm or saliva

Talk to your doctor if your symptoms get worse. In addition, be sure to tell your doctor if you or your child experience recurrent sore throats. If possible, stay home from school or work to avoid spreading any illnesses.

Related conditions to a sore throat

Sore throat treatment FAQs

  • What are the symptoms of a sore throat?

    The symptoms of a sore throat can include:

    • Red throat and tonsils

    • Swollen glands (lymph nodes) around the neck and jaw

    • Throat pain or irritation

    • A hoarse voice

    • White patches or pus on your tonsils

    • Difficulty swallowing

    In addition to these symptoms, you may also experience other symptoms depending on the underlying cause of your sore throat. Some common symptoms of bacterial and viral infections include:

    • Coughing and sneezing

    • A fever

    • Nasal congestion

    • Body aches and headaches

    • Nausea or vomiting

  • What causes a sore throat?

    Most sore throats are caused by viral infections, such as the common cold or the flu (influenza). Other common causes of sore throats include:

    • Bacterial infections, such as strep throat

    • Allergies to pets, pollens, or mold

    • Environmental factors, including pollution and dry air

    • Smoking

  • What are some medications for sore throat?

    The best medications for sore throats include over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). These medications help relieve throat pain and inflammation.

    If your sore throat doesn't go away within seven days, you may have a bacterial infection. To identify the underlying cause of your sore throat and get sore throat treatment online, book a video consult with an online doctor through PlushCare. After your doctor diagnoses your sore throat, they can prescribe antibiotics, if needed, to fight a bacterial infection.

  • What is pharyngitis?

    Pharyngitis, or a sore throat, is inflammation in the back of the throat (pharynx) between your tonsils and voice box (larynx). When this happens, it can cause irritation, difficulty swallowing, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

    Depending on the underlying cause of your pharyngitis, your throat pain may range from mild to severe.

3 simple steps to get treated for a sore throat today

Step 1

Book a sore throat treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your sore throat symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up a prescription for sore throat treatment, if needed.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Sore throat treatment pricing details

How pricing works

To request sore throat treatment and get a new prescription or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.