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Evid Based Nurs 3:78 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.3.78
  • Treatment

Review: antibiotics for sore throat reduce symptoms at day 3 and the incidence of rheumatic fever and otitis media


 
 QUESTION: In primary care settings, are antibiotics effective for adults and children with acute sore throats?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline with the terms pharyngitis, sore throat, and tonsillitis; the Cochrane Library; the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group trials register; and bibliographies of included studies. Inclusion dates of the studies were 1945–99.

Study selection

Controlled trials were selected if they compared antibiotics with placebo, if the patients had symptoms of acute sore throat and were in primary care settings, and if outcomes included incidence of acute rheumatic fever within 2 months, acute glomerulonephritis within 1 month, acute otitis media, acute sinusitis, quinsy (peritonsillar abscess), or symptoms of throat soreness, headache, or fever.

Data extraction

Data were extracted or sought from the authors of trials on study quality, publication date, patient characteristics, antibiotics including duration, outcomes, symptom resolution, and adverse effects.

Main results

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