Sore throat is primarily a sign of viral infection of the pharynx or the throat. Viral infections resolve naturally within a week without medical intervention. Only a small number of sore throat cases, also known as strep throat, caused by bacterial infection are treated with antibiotics.
Drugs and Medications to Treat Sore Throat
Penicillin is the first choice of most physicians for treating sore throat caused by a bacterial infection. Among the different types of penicillin drugs, penicillin V or penicillin V potassium is primarily used for treating throat infections. However, sore throat caused by viral infections will not respond to this antibiotic drug. Penicillin is available in the form of tablets and liquid. Usually the medication is taken three to four times a day or as prescribed by your physician.
To prevent complications, finish the full course of the treatment. Continue taking the drug even if the symptoms of the infection have healed until your doctor asks you to stop the drug. Penicillin should be taken at least an hour after the meals. People allergic to penicillin should avoid this antibiotic. Diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, itching, wheezing and breathing or swallowing difficulties are common symptoms of penicillin allergy.
Amoxicillin is a penicillin-like antibiotic. It treats sore throat by inhibiting growth of bacteria. Bacterial infection associated with sore throat is treated by taking amoxicillin tablets or suspension two to three times daily. Try to take the antibiotic drug at the same time each day. Amoxicillin should be taken with plenty of water, preferably one to two hours after meals.
Amoxicillin solution for children can be mixed with milk, ginger ale or fruit juice. Diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, bruising, bleeding, fatigue, seizures and yellowing of eyes and skin are some rare side effects of the drug.
Erythromycin is widely prescribed for treating sore throat and other respiratory tract problems caused by bacterial infections. It is usually prescribed to people allergic to penicillin. Some brands of erythromycin are taken with food, whereas others are taken at least one to two hours after meals.
This antibiotic medication should not be taken with or immediately after consuming carbonated drinks or fruit juices. For treating the bacterial infection of the throat, erythromycin is usually taken three to four times each day for about 7 to 21 days or as directed by the physician. Side effects that might occur following erythromycin intake include diarrhea, stomach upset, abdominal cramp and pain, vomiting and skin rash.
Cephalexin is an effective and safer alternative to penicillin for treating sore throat induced by a bacterial infection. However, caution should be taken while prescribing the drug to patients with a history of modest to severe penicillin allergy.
This drug is usually taken two to four times a day for 7 to 10 days. Although cephalexin is considered safe, stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea and skin rash may develop in some patients following cephalexin intake. Stomach upset may be avoided by taking the medication with milk or food. Itching, severe skin rash, sores in the mouth and throat and breathing or swallowing difficulty are signs of hypersensitivity to cephalexin.