NICE sore throat (acute): antimicrobial prescribing

Pills and thermometer

Acute sore throat is a very common condition. Usually, sore throats are caused by a self-limiting viral upper respiratory tract infection—antibiotics are not effective in treating these infections, which often resolve within a week. As antibiotic resistance is an increasingly prevalent public health issue, restricting prescribing to when it is necessary—such as when the sore throat is caused by a severe bacterial infection—is essential to the appropriate management of acute sore throat.

This Guidelines summary discusses the management of acute sore throat, including self-care, when antibiotics may be needed, and which antibiotics to choose. It also includes a visual summary on appropriate prescribing.

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