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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

Antibiotics v placebo for patients with sore throat in primary care settings (fixed effects model)*

Outcomes No of studies Weighted event rates RRR (95% CI) NNT (CI)
Antibiotics Placebo
*Abbreviations defined in glossary; RRR, NNT, and CI calculated from data in article.
Rheumatic fever by 2 months 11 1.4% 1.9% 69% (53 to 80) 186 (117 to 445)
Otitis media by 14 days 10 1.5% 2.2% 71% (47 to 84) 144 (75 to 1923)
Quinsy by 2 months 7 1.5% 2.4% 81% (48 to 93) 113 (58 to 2541)
Fever at day 3 6 13.3% 19.8% 37% (19 to 51) 16 (10 to 35)
Throat soreness at day 3 11 44% 63% 28% (23 to 33) 6 (5 to 7)
Headache at day 3 2 24% 44% 45% (31 to 55) 5 (4 to 8)

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