Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Viral Pharyngitis Overview

What is viral pharyngitis?
A person with viral pharyngitis has inflammation and irritation of the throat, caused by a viral infection. Viral pharyngitis usually resolves without treatment in about 7 days.

What are the symptoms of viral pharyngitis?
Common symptoms of viral pharyngitis include a sore throat, throat redness, fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and headache. Additional symptoms may include mild difficulty swallowing and mildly swollen lymph glands in the neck.

How does the doctor treat viral pharyngitis?
Treatment for viral pharyngitis includes rest, plenty of liquids, sore throat lozenges, gargling with warm salt water, and acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever. Antibiotics are not effective for the treatment of viral pharyngitis.

Continue to Viral Pharyngitis Risk Factors

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Viral Pharyngitis References
  1. Cooper RJ, Hoffman JR, Bartlett JG, Besser RE, Gonzales R, Hickner JM, Sande MA; American Academy of Family Physicians; American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine; Centers for Disease Control. Principles of appropriate antibiotic use for acute pharyngitis in adults: background. Ann Intern Med. 2001 Mar 20;134(6):509-17. [11255530]
  2. Huovinen P. Causes, diagnosis and treatment of pharyngitis. Compr Ther. 1999 Jun-Jul;25(6-7):326-9. [10470516]
  3. Linder JA, Stafford RS. Antibiotic treatment of adults with sore throat by community primary care physicians: a national survey, 1989-1999. JAMA. 2001 Sep 12;286(10):1181-6. [11559262]
  4. Zwart S, Sachs AP, Ruijs GJ, Gubbels JW, Hoes AW, de Melker RA. Penicillin for acute sore throat: randomised double blind trial of seven days versus three days treatment or placebo in adults. BMJ. 2000 Jan 15;320(7228):150-4. [10634735]
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