Preventative measures and medication are among the best ways to handle sinus drainage in the throat. It may be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications and self-care measures. OTC antihistamines can dry up the drainage and decongestants thin the mucus and reduce swelling in the nasal membranes; these are available in pill and spray formulations. Prescription antihistamine or steroid nasal sprays lessen the production of mucus and decrease swelling. Self-care measures such as daily nasal washes and removing environmental triggers may also help fight sinus drainage in the back of the throat.
Chlorpheniramine is one OTC antihistamine that works to dry up sinus drainage at the back of the throat. OTC decongestants such as pseudoephedrine thin mucus, making it easier to cough up or blow out of the nose. Combination antihistamine and decongestant medications are generally available without a prescription for people who need both types of drugs but want to take as few pills as possible.
OTC nasal sprays may be employed when drainage is at its worst, but they should not be used regularly. Regular use promotes what is known as the rebound effect. This effect actually causes the body to produce more mucus, which may make sinus drainage in the throat worse.
Prescription antihistamine nasal spray, such as azelastine, is designed to address allergic reactions that lead to mucus in the throat. Ipratropium bromide is another prescription antihistamine that may help clear the nasal passages and sinuses. Sometimes, a medical professional will prescribe a steroid nasal spray. The steroid spray reduces inflammation, but does not do so immediately. It can take weeks or months of consistent application before the desired effects are noticeable.
Nasal wash with a neti pot clears nasal passages and sinuses of mucus. Neti pots may be purchased off the shelf at many drug stores. They often come with several packets of saline wash that may be added to the water. Medical professionals may recommend a nasal wash once or twice per day depending upon the severity of symptoms.
Another self-care measure that may get rid of sinus drainage in the throat is assessing the environment and removing potential triggers. Dust, pet dander, or other environmental allergens may be at the root of sinus drainage. Keeping the home dusted, vacuumed, and/or using an air filter may significantly decrease postnasal drip.
A person with sinus drainage in the throat may find that a combination of medications and nasal washes gives the best results. Some allergists recommend that patients with postnasal drip use the nasal wash each night before using a steroid nasal spray. Many patients do very well with this multipronged approach to managing sinus drainage.