When are antibiotics indicated for the treatment of tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess (PTA)?

Updated: Apr 06, 2020
  • Author: Udayan K Shah, MD, FACS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Administer antibiotics if conditions support a bacterial etiology, such as the presence of tonsillar exudates, presence of a fever, leukocytosis, contacts who are ill, or contact with a person who has a documented group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus pyogenes (GABHS) infection. In many cases, bacterial and viral pharyngitis are clinically indistinguishable. Waiting 1-2 days for throat culture results has not been shown to diminish the usefulness of antibiotic therapy in preventing rheumatic fever.


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