n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Evidence for antibiotic use for sore throat and URTI in general practice : main topic

Volume 21, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



Sore throat and URTI are common presenting problems in general practice, and antibiotics are commonly used. <br>Antibiotic resistance is a major cost of widespread antibiotic use. The main impact of antibiotics for people with the common cold is financial cost and adverse clinical effects. <br>In one-half of patients with sore throat, symptoms have improved by day 3 of the illness, with or without the use of antibiotics. <br>For sore throat, antibiotics shorten the average duration of symptoms by hours only, and analgesics are an effective alternative for pain. <br>A throat swab culture is a poor test for active streptococcal infection. <br>There is little reliable evidence regarding the accuracy of clinical signs for diagnosing 'strep throat'. <br>Antibiotic treatment for sore throat reduces the risk of rheumatic fever. <br>Antibiotic treatment to reduce the risk of rheumatic fever is pointless in people with a very low risk, e.g. children under 3 years and perhaps people in good socio-economic circumstances.

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