NICE has published NICE Guideline (NG) 84 on Sore throat (acute): antimicrobial prescribing

Acute sore throat is usually caused by a self-limiting viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. While some sort throats may be caused by a bacterial infection, they are often still self-limiting to about 1 week. Antimicrobials are unlikely to have a significant effect and witholding them rarely leads to complications. Avoiding unnecessary antimicrobial use is also an important part of preventing the development of antimicrobial-resistant infections.

The areas covered by NG84 include:

  • managing acute sore throat, including advice about when an antibiotic is not needed
  • choice of antibiotic when a back-up or immediate prescription is needed
  • self-care.

To support the decision-making process for sore throat prescribing, NICE has also developed a visual summary for advice and prescribing for patients who have acute sore throat.