Who has never had a sore throat and resorted to a mint lozenge or a ginger spray? But do these products, easily found in pharmacies and sold without a prescription, really work?
Sore throats are usually caused by bacterial or viral infections, such as colds and flu. They affect the structures of the throat, mainly the pharynx and tonsils, and may be accompanied by difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and coughing.
Gilberto Pizarro, otorhinolaryngologist at Hospital Paulista, explains that sprays and lozenges can offer temporary relief from the discomfort caused by a sore throat, but it is necessary to be careful when using these drugs.
“Sprays and lozenges can be used in acute conditions to relieve pain for three to five days. A sore throat is a symptom that can indicate several diseases and, when chronic, can signal conditions such as syphilis, HIV or tumors”, he explains.
The relief provided by these medications is because they contain components that act as anti-inflammatories and local anesthetics. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the composition and read the leaflet before use.
“People who are allergic to the spray cannot use it, as it can cause breathing obstruction and even death. Using increased doses is a big problem, as overdosage is toxic”, adds the otorhinolaryngologist.
To minimize the risks and even not mask other more serious illnesses, the use of this type of medication should not be used frequently and if the throat discomfort does not improve within a week, it is recommended to seek medical help for a correct diagnosis.
“Self-medication can mask diseases such as mouth cancer. Red and ulcerated lesions should be immediately evaluated by a doctor, preferably an otorhinolaryngologist”, emphasizes Pizarro.
See 4 recommendations when using throat sprays and lozenges
- Read the leaflet: Before using any medication, read the instructions on the packaging and leaflet. Knowing the composition of the medicine and contraindications is essential for safe use;
- Do not overuse: Frequently using medications, such as sprays and lozenges for sore throats, can mask a more serious illness, in addition to creating dependence.
- Pay attention to contraindications: People with allergies should pay attention to the components present in the medicine. If in doubt, the ideal is to consult a doctor before using it.
- Stay Hydrated: drinking water and keeping the body hydrated is essential to help recover from infection.
Source: CNN Brasil
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