Get relief with these top picks
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.When you have a sore throat, the last thing you need is to waste time taking over-the-counter medications that won’t make you feel better. There’s no reason you should have to suffer with having a scratchy throat, difficulty swallowing, or a cough when a solution is just a click away. There are plenty of medications for sore throats that will tackle all of your symptoms and taste great, too. What’s more, they’re all over-the-counter solutions, meaning they’re accessible to all and available at an affordable price point.As always, these medications are not intended to cure or treat any disease. Be sure to consult your doctor if you have questions about the safety of any of these medications, or if your condition does not improve. Below, you’ll find the best medicines for a sore throat you can get now.
Our Top Picks
There’s a reason most people typically equate “sore throat medicine” with “cough drop”—being able to dissolve the medicine slowly on your tongue lets you get the most relief out of every lozenge.These fast-acting drops from Chloraseptic combine a powerful formula made from menthol, benzocaine oral anesthetic, and a soothing liquid center to coat your dry, scratchy throat to help you feel better throughout your day.
You can get multiple boxes of these budget-friendly drops—one for home, one for work, and one for on-the-go—so that you’ll be prepared for when you need a lozenge in a pinch.
If you need quick sore throat relief that isn’t going to break the bank, we recommend sucking on a few of these honey lemon cough drops from SouthHealth. A package of 80 drops on Amazon is super affordable, so you can be prepared for your next cold without spending on expensive and ineffective over-the-counter medications.In addition to its great taste, the active ingredient in these drops is menthol, which will help suppress your cough and relieve your irritated and sore throat thanks to its cooling properties. As a bonus: these drops are gluten-free and safe for kids ages 6 and older, so you can feel good keeping them around for the whole family.
Best for Cough: Sucrets Sore Throat Lozenges
Coughing uncontrollably is super uncomfortable, but on top of that, it can interfere with your ability to communicate at work or school throughout the day. To get some relief quickly for a cough when you can’t stop moving, grab a pack of these cherry-flavored lozenges from Sucrets.These lozenges, formulated especially to relieve even the worst cough, are made with dyclonine hydrochloride, an oral anesthetic that numbs the throat where it bothers you most, and menthol for quick cooling. We love that they’re also made with vitamin C and zinc to help you fight the cold at its source. If cherry doesn’t sound great, opt for the soothing honey lemon flavor instead.
Best Kids: Genexa Homeopathic Cold Crush for Children
Most sore throat and cough medications are far too harsh for children, so give them something made to be gentle yet powerful, like this homeopathic and organic Cold Crush from Genexa. The formula is organic and made from recognizable ingredients like chamomile and rice bran. This sore throat medicine is also non-GMO.One box gets you 30 servings of the medication, but if you find it’s not the right option for your family, you can simply call or email Genexa for a full refund. Genexa does warn that since every person’s natural biology is different, its medicines will not be effective on everyone.
Best Liquid: Theraflu ExpressMax Flu Cough & Sore Throat
When you want the traditional feeling of a cough syrup, reach for this great-tasting berry syrup from Theraflu. This over-the-counter medication helps to relieve sneezing, runny nose, congestion, head and body aches, and fever. Each dose will slightly warm the throat, giving you relief from harsh coughing.Even though this cough liquid throat medicine tastes delicious, it has 10 percent alcohol and is not suitable for children under the age of 12. At a budget price point, you get a bottle large enough to last you through your next flu, cough, or itchy throat.
Best Spray: Chloraseptic Honey Lemon Warming Sore Throat Spray
When you are really uncomfortable, a spray sore throat medicine can offer you some immediate relief. This option from Chloraseptic is made with a soothing honey lemon flavor, and contains the active ingredient phenol that will give you fast relief from even your worst sore throat.The formula is sugar-free, alcohol-free, gluten-free, and made without Asprin. And according to Chloraseptic, their products are the #1 pharmacist-recommended sore throat liquid or spray relief available at the drugstore.Using it couldn’t be easier: simply spray onto the area of the throat that’s bothering you, let sit for 15 seconds, and then spit the remaining spray back out. The warming sensation should happen immediately on contact. Since you only need one spritz every two hours to get relief, the bottle is sure to last.
Best for Fever: Theraflu Flu & Sore Throat Apple Cinnamon Hot Liquid Powder
When you’re running a fever and aching all over, you need a medicine that’s going to tackle all your symptoms. We love this hot apple cinnamon flavored beverage from Theraflu. In addition to lowering your fever and soothing your sore throat, this drinkable medicine tackles flu’s worst symptoms like congestion, head and body aches, and even your runny nose.We love that every time you drink Theraflu, you get the added benefits of drinking a glass of water, since staying hydrated is so essential when you’re sick. Each box comes with six packets, which you’ll take every four hours as symptoms persist.
Best for Allergies: Robitussin Peak Cold Adult Cough + Chest Congestion
When allergy season hits it can feel like there is nowhere—indoors our out—that you can go to get away from the itchy eyes and sneezing caused by pollen, dander, and dust. When the cough and congestion gets to be too much, we recommend this non-drowsy adult cold medication from Robitussin. In addition to relieving bronchial irritation, this medication will loosen up chest congestion so you can have a more productive cough.Robitussin is one of the most expensive options on this list, but its mucus-fighting properties make it more powerful than many of the strictly sore throat medications available. This formula is made for adults, so consult with your doctor before administering it to a child under the age of 12.