Should I prescribe antibiotics for patients with sore throats?
Antibiotics can cause adverse effects, such as diarrhoea and rashes, and communities build resistance to them.
Sore throats are infections caused by bacteria or viruses, affecting mostly children and young adults. Protecting individuals with sore throat against suppurative and non-suppurative complications in modern Western society can only be achieved by treating many with antibiotics, most of whom will derive no benefit. In emerging economies (eg, where rates of acute rheumatic fever are high), the number needed to treat may be much lower for antibiotics to be considered effective.