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
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.