What’s causing your sore throat?


The dreaded sore throat is uncomfortable and can be plain painful. But how do you know if you have a viral or bacterial infection causing your sore throat? We break it down and help you treat it.

Sore throats can be caused by a host of factors – from colds and flu to a virus, infections such as strep throat or allergies.

What to look out for

The symptoms of a sore throat can include pain, scratchiness or irritation of the throat, or pain when swallowing. The most common cause of a sore throat (also known as pharyngitis) is a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. A sore throat often resolves on its own and symptoms typically last for about a week1,2. Most people improve or get better without antibiotics whether the cause is viral or bacterial2.

How to treat a sore throat

Infections such as strep throat can be effectively treated with antibiotics as this is caused by bacterial infections3. However, a sore throat caused by a bacterial infection can improve without antibiotics after a few days2.

Many symptoms of a sore throat can be managed through self-care. This includes the use of aspirin or paracetamol which can be effective in reducing pain and fever associated with an upper respiratory infection2 or over-the-counter medication you can keep in your medicine cupboard at home.

With a range of lozenges and sprays such as Andolex-C, you can find targeted relief.

Andolex-C works to

  • Reduce swelling through its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Relieve pain with an analgesic effect
  • Fight minor infections by working as an antiseptic
  • Numb the area like a local anaesthetic

If your symptoms of a sore throat, cold or flu get much worse or show no improvement within a week, patients should see a doctor2.

The information in this article was provided by a third-party client.


1. Mayo Clinic – Sore Throat (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sore-throat/symptoms-causes/syc-20351635) Website accessed on 24 October 2018

2. How to Limit Antibiotic Use in Acute Sore Throat – Medical Chronicle CPD May 2018

3. Do I Need an Antibiotic? Bacterial vs Viral Infections – HealthyMePA. 21 February 2017 (https://www.healthymepa.com/2017/02/21/do-you-need-antibiotics/) Website accessed on 9 March 2018

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