What is the prognosis of pharyngitis (sore throat)?

Updated: May 06, 2020
  • Author: John R Acerra, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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  • Most cases of pharyngitis resolve spontaneously within 10 days, but it is important for the clinician to be aware of potential complications listed above.

  • Treatment failures are frequent and are attributed mainly to poor compliance, antibiotic resistance, untreated close contacts, carrier states, and antibiotic-related or copathogenic suppression of host immunity and necessary flora. [5, 52] Of note, GAS resistance to penicillin is NOT thought to be a reason for treatment failures with penicillin.

  • Patients should expect improvement in symptoms in penicillin-sensitive streptococcal pharyngitis within 24 hours of initiation of treatment. Contagious and often the febrile periods also are reduced to 1 day. It should be noted that pain medications and steroid use for pharyngitis are extremely effective for improving symptoms of pharyngitis. [34]

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