Viral Throat Infection Treatment
Treatment for viral pharyngitis includes rest, liquids, and medications for pain and fever. Most cases of viral pharyngitis resolve within 10 days. Antibiotics are not effective for the treatment of viral pharyngitis. The use of antiviral agents is restricted to specific viral causes, such as influenza, herpes simplex virus, and HIV.
Specific treatment for viral pharyngitis includes:
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Intramuscular injection of dexamethasone may help relieve symptoms in some cases.
- Take nonprescription medication for sore throat:
- Gargle with warm salt water
- Acetaminophen for pain
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain
- Antiviral medications:
- Effective for influenza virus
- Questionable benefit in mononucleosis
- Oral acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir decrease duration of symptoms in those with herpes simplex virus
- May improve symptoms in some with acute mononucleosis
Viral Throat Infection Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of viral pharyngitis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Am I contagious?
- For how long?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How do I avoid passing the infection to others?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having viral pharyngitis again?
- Will I need to see my doctor for a checkup?
Viral Throat Infection Specialist
Continue to Viral Throat Infection Home Care
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- Huovinen P. Causes, diagnosis and treatment of pharyngitis. Compr Ther. 1999 Jun-Jul;25(6-7):326-9. 
- 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. 
- 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.