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What Helps a Sore Throat and Cough?

A sore throat and cough can cause discomfort and limit your ability to communicate with ease.1 Luckily, there are several ways to get relief. Learn what helps a sore throat and cough so you can get your voice back and keep doing what matters most.

Woman coughing into fist while working

Soothe Your Throat

Sometimes a simple approach is best. If your throat hurts, do what soothes it. Here are a few ways to help your aching throat:

Try Medi-Soothers

Sucking on lozenges and cough drops can help soothe a sore throat.1 Robitussin Honey and Elderberry Medi-Soothers provide cough and sore-throat pain relief that works fast and lasts for hours, and they taste great, too. When your throat hurts, they can be your go-to.

Drink Warm Liquids

Soups, broths, bouillon and hot tea with lemon and honey may help to alleviate dry, sore throats. Hot tea with lemon and honey is a time-honored home remedy for sore throats and cough relief.

Suck on Ice

Sucking on ice provides a cooling sensation in your inflamed throat. It lowers the temperature in your throat and may help soothe soreness. Alternatively, you can try popsicles.3

Gargle with Salt Water

A saltwater gargle is a simple home remedy that can help a sore throat. Create your saltwater solution by mixing table salt with warm water. Keep the amount of salt small, approximately ½ teaspoon of salt, and gargle the solution every three hours.2 A saltwater gargle may be helpful with several possible causes and symptoms of a sore throat. It can reduce swelling and break down mucus.2

Improve Your Environment

You may be able to improve your space in ways that improve your symptoms. Try these two techniques:

Change the Air

Dry air may exacerbate or worsen an existing sore throat or cough. Additionally, if you have a cold or flu, you may be congested and breathe through your mouth more than your nose. This dries out your throat and makes the pain worse. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to moisturize the air in your home or environment, which can help to alleviate the pain from your cough and sore throat.1

Avoid Irritants

There are plenty of irritants that can worsen your sore throat or cough that you should try to avoid. If you have allergies, avoid anything that can potentially trigger a coughing fit.2 Smoking and secondhand smoke can affect your lungs and could increase the chance of an infection.1 Spicy foods and very hot liquids can also worsen your symptoms.2

Lay Back and Let Your Body Rest

An effective way to help fight off a virus or infection is to get a good night’s sleep.1 Make sure your environment is conducive to getting rest. If a cough is keeping you up at night, learn how to fall and stay asleep with an occasional cough.

These remedies can help you treat and get past your sore throat pain and cough more quickly. Consult with your doctor on whether to also use over-the-counter medications for your cough and sore throat pain. With Robitussin Medi-Soothers and these other remedies, you can get back to all the important things you need to do and say. For more support as you get over a cough or sore throat, head to our Cough and Cold Center.

Source Citations:

  1. Sore Throat (Pharyngitis). Cleveland Clinic. Accessed 5/17/2023.
  2. Sore throat remedies that actually work. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed 5/17/2023.
  3. Sinus Infection (Sinusitis). CDC. Accessed 5/17/2023.
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