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Sore throat is a common health condition seen in pharmacy. This module looks at the rebranded Chloralieve dual action lozenge range and how they work to relieve sore throats.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the most appropriate treatment for sore throat
  • Understand how Chloralieve dual action lozenges are effective in sore throat management
  • Confidently advise about the potential causes of a sore throat

What causes sore throats?1

Acute sore throat involves inflammation of the oropharynx (the part of the throat behind the soft palate) or the tonsils.

Sore throats are most commonly caused by infections, including colds and flu, streptococcal infection and glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis).

Non-infectious causes are uncommon, but may include physical irritation due to gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, hayfever and chronic cigarette smoke.

Customers may be concerned about the cause of their sore throat and ask for advice on whether antibiotics may be needed. The most common symptoms associated with infectious conditions are detailed below. This may help you identify the most likely cause of their sore throat and enable you to recommend the right approach.


Symptoms associated with a cold include a runny or blocked nose and cough


Flu may also include symptoms like a headache, weakness and fatigue, feeling unwell, muscle pain, a dry cough and fever


While your customer may be worried about strep throat, it is worth considering that Group A Streptococcus infection is more common in school aged children during the winter months. It typically accounts for less than one third of all cases of acute sore throat.

Antibiotics are the standard treatment for strep infections2 and therefore it is important to consider whether this may be the cause of your customer’s sore throat. The likelihood of a streptococcal infection can be determined by using the FeverPAIN or Centor criteria by attributing one point for each presenting sign or symptom. The higher the overall score, the higher the likelihood of a streptococcal infection. Antibiotics may be considered for those with a FeverPAIN score of 4 or 5 or a Centor criteria score of 3 or 4, so you should refer these customers to the pharmacist or their GP for appropriate treatment.

FeverPAIN signs and symptoms: (maximum score of 5)

Fever (during the previous 24 hours) Purulence (pus or discharge from the throat or tonsils) Attend rapidly (within 3 days of symptoms starting) Inflammation (severely inflamed tonsils) No cough or coryza (cold-like symptoms, e.g.
blocked or runny nose, sneezing and post-nasal drip)

Centor criteria: (maximum score of 4)

Tonsillar exudate (pus or discharge) Swollen or enlarged neck glands Fever (over 38°C) Absence of cough


Also known as infectious mononucleosis, this can be considered where inflammation has lasted for several days and is associated with swollen glands and an enlarged spleen

How to manage sore throats1-3

An acute sore throat may last for around 1 week and the majority of people get better without the need for antibiotics.

Sore throats occasionally result in a significant reduction of fluid intake, which can cause dehydration.
Therefore it is important to advise patients to drink plenty of fluids.

The following self-management strategies can be shared with your customer:

  • Adults could gargle with warm, salty water
  • Analgesics and antipyretics such as ibuprofen and paracetamol can be used
  • Medicated lozenges can provide some throat pain relief

Product information and information on adverse event reporting is available at the end of the module.

Content developed by Prestige Brands working with CIG Healthcare Partnership.
© 2023 CIG Healthcare Partnership

December 2023