Sprays for sore throats


A sore throat is one of the most common symptoms of a cold. A flu-like infection is caused by cold viruses, which cause painful inflammation of the lining of the throat. Sore throats are very uncomfortable for those affected and can be relieved with medication.

In addition to pain-relieving lozenges and pastilles, sprays for sore throats are suitable for self-medication.

The sprays at a glance

There are different sprays for sore throats that use different active ingredients to provide pain relief. The spray from WICK® contains, for example, the numbing agent lidocaine, a local anesthetic that makes the cervical mucosa insensitive to painful stimuli. There are sprays that disinfect the throat. These include the now no longer available Locabiosol with the active ingredient fusafungin and the Neo-Angin® throat spray with amylmetacresol. Disinfecting throat sprays have the advantage of having an antibacterial effect.

Sprays for sore throats from Tantum verde® and Dobendan® are also popular. The spray from Tantum verde® has a quick pain relief and is suitable for children. The Dobendan® spray scores with a long duration of action of up to 6 hours.

There are also herbal sprays for sore throats that are naturally pain reliever and disinfectant. One example is the Bronchostop® throat spray with sage and thyme extract.

The active ingredients

Drugs for sore throats often have a local numbing effect (topical local anesthetics) or disinfecting (topical disinfectants). Herbal medicines, the so-called phytopharmaceuticals, are also used. Topical local anesthetics often contain the active ingredient lidocaine. Lidocaine makes the tissue in the throat less sensitive to pain stimuli. The pain stimuli do not reach the brain and are therefore not perceived as painful.

Sprays for sore throats that disinfect the throat contain the active ingredients fusafungin, amylmetacresol or hexetidine. These substances have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect in the throat. The Locabiosol dosing spray contains, for example, the active ingredient fusafungin. The medicinal product Neo-Angin throat spray contains amylmetacresol and the hexoral spray hedetidine.

Herbal sprays for sore throats often contain sage leaves and thyme extract, which are said to have a disinfecting and pain relieving effect in the throat. The Dobendand® Direct Flurbiprofen Spray against sore throats contains the active ingredient Flurbiproben, which has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. The Tantum Verde® spray contains benzydamine hydrochloride. This active ingredient also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, as well as antibacterial properties.

Find out more about the topic here: Naturopathy for a cold.

The side effects

Like any drug, any sore throat spray can cause hypersensitivity reactions to the various active ingredients. If allergies to the ingredients of the products are known, the incompatible spray must be avoided. Neck sprays that contain local anesthetics such as lidocaine numb the lining of the throat. Numbness in the mouth and throat can be perceived as unpleasant by those affected.

Occasionally, side effects such as burning mouth, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting may occur. In addition, the Tantum verde® spray can also promote reddening of the skin and sunburns, as it makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Inhaling if you have a cold? You can find more information here.

How often can I use it?

Sprays for sore throats should always be used as recommended in the package insert. The different dosages of children and adults must be taken into account. If the symptoms persist after three days, a doctor should be consulted.

The Dobendan® spray, for example, can be used every three to six hours with three sprays in the throat. The Wick Spray® against sore throats may be taken by adults 6 times a day with two to three sprays. Children from 6 to 2 years of age can receive the spray up to four times a day with two to three sprays. The Tantum verde® spray can be taken up to six times a day with four to eight sprays. Children between 6 and 12 years of age are allowed to take four sprays about every 6 hours, while children under 6 years of age and over 4 kilograms of body weight are allowed one spray per kilo. Children under 6 years of age should not take more than four sprays every 6 hours.

The different number of sprays and the time interval between applications varies between the different products and should be taken into account when applying.

Also read the article: How can I shorten the duration of a cold?

What alternatives do I have?

In addition to throat spray, there are other over-the-counter drugs in pharmacies that relieve sore throats. Throat lozenges and lozenges are good alternatives. There are different throat tablets, for example Dolo-Dobendan or neo-angin, which calm the pharynx quickly. Conventional pain relievers such as ibuprofen can also relieve pain in the throat. Pain tablets should not be taken over a long period of time.

A well-tried home remedy for a sore throat is gargling with salt water, chamomile or sage tea. In addition to tea or salt water, you can also put a few drops of eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil in a water bath and inhale the vapors. The liquids moisturize the mucous membranes and have an expectorant effect. Another popular home remedy are warm neck wraps. In addition, inhaling sage or chamomile tea steam is particularly effective if there are other cold symptoms such as runny nose or cough. There are also homeopathic medicines for sore throats such as globules and Schuessler salts.

For more information, also read: Home remedies for a cold.

The costs

The sprays for sore throats are priced in the middle range among medicines for sore throats. Dobendan® Direct Flurbiprofen Spray and WICK® Sulagil Throat Spray are available in 15 milliliters each for 7 to 12 €, depending on the pharmacy. Tantum Verde® sprays with 30 milliliters are in the same price range and therefore cheaper overall.
Online pharmacies may be cheaper, but sometimes come with shipping costs.

Are there any prescription sprays for sore throats?

Sprays for sore throats are only available from pharmacies, especially those that contain active ingredients such as lidocaine or benzydamine hydrochloride. However, these sprays for sore throats do not require a prescription. This means that the sprays are over the counter. There are also herbal sprays for sore throats, which are available in pharmacies as well as in drug stores and health food stores.

Can be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Sprays for sore throats that contain the active ingredient lidocaine are not suitable for pregnancy or breastfeeding. Lidocaine passes into breast milk in small amounts and can reach the infant while breastfeeding. Sprays containing lidocaine, such as the WICK® Sulagil throat spray, should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding and only used if it is absolutely necessary for the doctor.
The Dobendan® spray with the active ingredient flurbiprofen is also harmful to pregnant and breastfeeding women. The spray from Tantum verde® may, in turn, be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding if used as intended.

Nonetheless, only those medications recommended by your doctor should be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Home remedies such as gargling with salt water or chamomile tea can also calm the mucous membrane of the throat and are safe for the child.

Find out more about the topic here: Common cold during pregnancy.

Which sprays can be used on children?

When using sprays for sore throats, check the package insert to see whether the corresponding throat spray is allowed for children and in what dosage it can be used.

Neck sprays from WICK®, Tantum Verde®, Neo-Angin® and EMS® are suitable for both adults and children from 6 years of age. Tantum Verde® may be used for children under 6 years of age, according to the exact dosage. In any case, it can be helpful to ask the pediatrician for a recommendation.

The different sprays


The Locabiosol® spray lost its approval in May 2016 and has not been available in pharmacies since then. The reason for this is that there have been numerous reports of severe allergic reactions with shortness of breath and swelling of the face to the active ingredient fusafungin it contains. There is currently no comparable alternative on the German pharmaceutical market that has an antibiotic effect similar to that of the active ingredient fusafungin.

Tantum verde®

The Tantum Verde® spray is effective against pain and irritation in the mouth and throat. It has an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and numbing effect. It contains the active ingredient benzydamine hydrochloride, methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate and 10% alcohol by volume. Benzydamine hydrochloride has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and analgesic effects.

Four to eight puffs of the spray may be given into the throat up to six times a day. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 should not take more than 4 sprays every six hours. For children under 6 years of age over 4 kilograms of body weight, one spray per kilo with a maximum of 4 sprays is the therapeutic dose for a sore throat.

From Wick®

The Sulagil throat spray from Wick® works against sore throats in seconds. Among other things, it contains the local anesthetic lidocaine, which blocks the transmission of pain from the mucous membrane of the throat to the brain. It is also anti-inflammatory and soothes the lining of the throat. The Wick throat spray contains 20% alcohol by volume.

You can take 2 to 3 sprays up to 6 times a day. Children aged 6 to 12 can use the spray up to 4 times a day with 2 to 3 puffs. It is not suitable for children under 6 years of age, pregnant and breastfeeding women.


The Dobendan® Direkt Flurbiprofen spray for sore throats does not contain alcohol, antibiotics or local anesthetics. It is said to have a pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory and decongestant effect for up to 6 hours. The Dobendan spray is generally considered to be well tolerated.

It can be used every 3 to 6 hours with 3 sprays with no more than 5 doses per day. If the symptoms persist for more than three days, a doctor should be consulted. It is not suitable for children, adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women. Flurbiprofen can affect fertility.