While a sore throat often resolves on its own and symptoms typically last for about a week, many people seek antibiotic treatment. According to an expert from the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein, not only are antibiotics over prescribed, but the antibiotics chosen are often more expensive and of a broader spectrum than needed.
A survey conducted in the United States^ found that approximately 75% of patients who go to their doctor with a sore throat will be prescribed antibiotics, even though this will only help a minority of patients, simply because most colds and flu are caused by viruses.*
Strep throat, a less common type of sore throat caused by bacteria, can be treated effectively with antibiotics.2 For sore throats caused by viral infections symptomatic treatment is required.
^ between 1989-1999